New Jersey may host the second commercially operating offshore wind farm in the U.S. as soon as 2020. The company EDF Renewable Energy is moving forward with a plan to bring online a 24-MW farm sited off the coast of Atlantic City.
After many years of false starts and delays, the offshore wind industry in the U.S. finally seems to be gaining momentum. According to the Department of Energy, more than 25 offshore wind projects with a generating capacity of 24 gigawatts are now being planned. Most of these are off of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic coasts.
Offshore wind farms are becoming increasingly important around the world. Europe has thousands of wind turbines off its coasts generating more and more of its power. The first offshore wind farm in the U.S. opened for business last year and more are on the way.
There is a tendency to think of the changes in the energy industry as a pitched battle between fossil fuel companies and renewable energy. There is some truth to this, but only to a certain extent. The multi-trillion-dollar fossil fuel industry is made up of businesses dedicated to growth and increased profits. And like businesses in other industries when major changes occur, fossil fuel companies may read the tea leaves and change with the times.
The world’s first floating wind farm is being built 15 miles off the northeast coast of Scotland. The Hywind pilot park, expected to come online late next year, will generate enough power for 20,000 homes. The location will take advantage of average local North Sea wind speeds in excess of 20 miles per hour.