There is a growing number of large offshore wind projects in the pipeline in the Northeast. The large Vineyard Wind project off the coast of Massachusetts began construction in November. Contracts for the Empire Wind and Beacon Wind projects in New York were finalized in January.
The first offshore wind project to begin construction in New York broke ground in February. South Fork Wind, a 132-megawatt project located about 19 miles southeast of Block Island, Rhode Island, is expected to come online in 2023.
New York’s goal is to develop 9 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2035 and the state is investing $500 million to set up manufacturing and supply chain infrastructure for offshore wind. Major facilities will be built in the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal and in the Port of Albany.
Meanwhile, Massachusetts recently announced that the site of the last coal-fired power plant in that state will become the home of its first offshore wind manufacturing facility.
The Brayton Point power plant in Somerset was shut down in 2017 after more than 50 years of operation. The site, located on Mount Hope Bay near Providence, Rhode Island, will host a $200 million facility for the manufacturing of undersea transmission lines used to connect the grid to offshore wind turbines. The first of these will be the Vineyard Wind’s Commonwealth Wind project, which will generate 1.2 gigawatts of electricity.
Both New York and Massachusetts are investing in the opportunities afforded by the soon-to-be booming offshore wind industry. With numerous windfarms planned up and down the Atlantic coast, manufacturing, maintenance, and support infrastructure will be big business for the two states.
Work starts on New York’s first offshore wind project
Former Coal Power Site in Massachusetts to Become Offshore Wind Plant
Photo, posted May 13, 2011, courtesy of SSE via Flickr.
Earth Wise is a production of WAMC Northeast Public Radio.