Summary of Article: In the hopes to meet growing electric demand in the Hamptons, NY, the Long Island Power Authority approved the nation’s largest offshore wind farm on January 25, 2017. Plans have been set to implement this innovative construction project between the eastern tip of Long Island and Martha’s Vineyard. With as many as 15 turbines capable of powering 50,000 average homes, this offshore wind farm is the first of several planned by Deepwater Wind, an offshore wind energy development group. “It will be in a 256-square-mile parcel, with room for as many as 200 turbines, that the company is leaving from the federal government”. This project is in connection to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s goal of drawing 50% of New York State’s power from renewable sources by 2030.
The turbines are planned to be connected to a substation in East Hampton by a 50-mile undersea cable. Deepwater Wind’s plan for this offshore wind farm entails developers studying and mapping the ocean floor to determine exact locations and how to anchor each turbine. They then must go through the federal and state permitting processes. If all goes as planned, Deepwater will start their construction no later than 2020; with the goal of beginning to be a functioning energy source by the end of 2020. Commercial fisheries have begun to express concern that turbines located just off the shore, attached to the seafloor, will disrupt their business through habitat destruction; consumers are worried about higher electric prices. Several supporters of the project view this extensive wind farm as a way to move the electric system away from fossil fuels, to slow climate change, and create jobs.
Check out some ways that offshore wind farms have benefitted areas in Europe!
Analysis of Article: Wind power has struggled to take off in the United States in the recent years where we have seen an increase in the use of renewable energy sources around the world. Deepwater Wind’s proposed plan to build an offshore wind farm off the coast of the eastern tip of Long Island through Martha’s Vineyard is a huge leap for wind energy in the United States. Governor Andrew Cuomo’s goal of drawing 50% of New York State’s power from renewable sources by 2030 is a goal that can be met if this specific project is completed, and if similar projects are also implemented.
“This project will not only provide a new, reliable source of clean energy but will also create high-paying jobs, continue our efforts to combat climate change and help preserve our environment,” Gov. Cuomo said in a statement, two weeks after he publicly called for the power authority to approve the proposal. Moving away from fossil fuels and towards a more sustainable and clean energy source will benefit New York State and the entire country in the long run. Despite the concerns that are speculated in the commercial fishing industry and by residents in New York, the sooner Deepwater Wind’s project is started, the sooner New York and the United States will move towards an increase in wind power and renewable energy sources.
My Big "Takeaway": Wind as an energy source is a reliable renewable energy supply when there are high-tech and efficient infrastructures to support it. Wind farms have proven success in locations all over the world, including places in the mid-west of the United States. As a country who is so heavily reliant on foreign energy supplies and fossil fuels, it is important for the United States to finally get a start on advancing its renewable energy sources, and this can be possible with the proper initiation of infrastructure that can turn renewables into highly efficient energy sources.
This specific offshore wind farm is a project that has tremendous potential if it is executed properly. Oceans provide a natural and reliably high wind levels, so these types of locations are ideal for housing a wind farm. If we can create sustainable and efficient technology to build and maintain wind turbines, both offshore and on land, then the United States will enter a period in which renewable energy resources that have the capability of supplying the majority of energy all across the country.
Check out this video for some details on how the average wind turbine functions...!