First US Offshore Wind Project – A New Industry

The Interior Dept completed the environmental review for Vineyard Wind the first week of March 2021, the regulatory signal enabling the industry to move ahead and bring in investors to the first commercial-scale offshore wind project in the US. An 800 MW wind project 12 miles off the shore of Martha’s Vineyard, the project will provide clean electricity to more than 400,000 homes in Massachusetts by the second half of 2023 and is estimated to reduce electricity rates by $1.4 billion over 20 years.

After three years of federal review and public comment, Vineyard Wind should receive its final record decision from the Army Corps of Engineers in April.  Opening a new industry in the US, this offshore wind project is expected to created thousands of jobs in construction, maintenance, and new supply chains with some components and turbines made in the US.

This will be the first of many large-scale offshore wind projects in development along the East coast. Seven east coast states have committed to buy about 30,000 MW (30 GW) of offshore electricity by 2035- enough to power approximately 20 million homes. This may support 83,000 jobs and deliver $25 billion annually in economic ouput, according to a study by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) 2020 US Offshore Wind Power Economic Impact Assessment. While the projects will be coastal, supply chains and service providers across the country will be employed such as domestic steel manufacturers. washingtonpost, e360Yale