WASHINGTON – According to a plan announced by the Biden government on Wednesday, seven large offshore wind farms would be developed on the east and west coasts and in the Gulf of Mexico.
The projects are part of President Joe Biden’s plan to deploy 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030, generating enough electricity to supply more than 10 million households with electricity.
Home Secretary Deb Haaland said her department hopes to hold lease sales off the coasts of Maine, New York and the mid-Atlantic, as well as the Carolinas, California, Oregon and the Gulf of Mexico by 2025. The projects are part of Biden’s plan to combat climate change and could avoid about 78 million tons of the planet-warming carbon dioxide emissions while creating up to 77,000 jobs, officials said.
“The Home Office is setting an ambitious roadmap as we advance government plans to address climate change, create well-paying jobs and accelerate the country’s transition to a cleaner energy future,” said Haaland. “We have big goals to achieve a clean energy economy, and Interior hits the moment.”
In addition to offshore wind, the Interior Ministry is working with other federal agencies to increase the production of renewable energy on public land, said Haaland, with the goal of generating at least 25 gigawatts of renewable energy on land from wind and solar power by 2025.
Haaland and Amanda Lefton, director of the department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, said officials hope to reduce potential conflicts with fishing groups and other marine users as much as possible. “This means that we will be in contact with all stakeholders early and frequently before we identify new wind energy areas,” Lefton said in a statement.
Commercial fishing companies have stated that planned offshore wind projects off the east coast would make it difficult to harvest valuable seafood such as scallops and lobsters. Some conservation groups also fear that large turbines will kill thousands of birds
Biden is committed to providing 30 gigawatts, or 30,000 megawatts of offshore wind energy in the United States by 2030. Achieving the target could mean jobs for more than 44,000 workers and 33,000 others in related jobs, the White House said.
The office completed a review of a construction and operations plan for the Vineyard Wind project 15 miles off the coast of Massachusetts earlier this year. The agency is reviewing nine other projects, including the South Fork wind farm near New York’s Long Island and the Ocean Wind project off New Jersey.
Vineyard Wind is expected to produce around 800 megawatts of electricity and South Fork around 132 megawatts. Ocean Wind, the largest project, has a total capacity of 1,100 megawatts, enough energy to supply 500,000 homes across New Jersey.
The administration has undertaken to process the 13 other projects currently being examined by the federal government by 2025.
The Marine Energy Agency has announced plans to develop offshore wind projects in shallow waters near Long Island and New Jersey. A recent study shows the area can support up to 25,000 development and construction jobs by 2030, the interior ministry said.
Heather Zichal, a former climate advisor to President Barack Obama who now heads the American Clean Power Association, a renewable energy group, said Biden’s target for offshore wind is “ambitious but achievable.” Wind power is an integral part of the goal of 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2035, she said.
In a related announcement, the Department of Energy announced that it was spending $ 11.5 million to study the risks offshore wind development may pose to birds, bats and marine mammals, and changes in commercial fish and marine invertebrate populations at an offshore wind site on the east coast.
The department will spend $ 2 million on visual inspection and audible monitoring of marine mammals and seabirds in potential wind locations on the west coast.
“In order for Americans living in coastal areas to take advantage of offshore wind, we need to ensure that the surrounding ecosystem is conserved by coexisting with fisheries and marine life – and that is exactly what this investment will do,” said Energy Secretary Das said Jennifer Granholm in a press release.