Offshore wind makes sense along the Eastern seaboard because our continental shelf is pretty flat, so waters are shallow-ish and easy to build in (the continental shelf along the Pacific coast, by contrast, falls off sharply) – plus, it’s close to lots of electricity customers. Things are finally happening on that front – from Greentech Media:
On Wednesday, Massachusetts announced that Vineyard Wind, a project backed by Iberdrola’s Avangrid Renewables and Danish investment firm Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, had won a contract to build up to 800 megawatts of wind turbines off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard. The consortium beat out two other contenders, Bay State Wind and Deepwater Wind, which also hold leases on the stretch of windy coastline.
Also on Wednesday, Rhode Island announced it would award a 400-megawatt offshore wind project to Deepwater Wind. That’s not an unexpected choice, given that Deepwater is also the developer of the 30-megawatt demonstration-scale Block Island project off the state’s coast — the only offshore wind power installation in the country to date.
These two total 1,200 megawatts, which is the output of Seabrook Station nuclear plant, although nuke plants run approximately twice as often as wind farms so that comparison is a bit misleading.
In other big-energy New England news, the New Hampshire Supreme Court has sort of reopened the possibility that electric customers might have to pay for a natural gas pipeline, tossing out an early N.H. Public Utilities Commission ruling that said the opposite. You can read about the whole complicated mess right here.