Large Offshore Wind Sites Are Sending Power to the US Grid for the First Time

In a historic milestone for the United States, electricity is now being transmitted to the grid from the locations of two expansive offshore wind farms. Avangrid and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, co-owners of the Vineyard Wind project, revealed on Wednesday that the first turbine, among the 62 planned for the wind farm situated 15 miles (24 kilometers) off the coast of Massachusetts, has successfully generated about 5 megawatts of power, marking the inaugural power delivery from the site. With five turbines already installed, the remaining four are currently undergoing testing and are expected to be operational in the early part of this year.

According to OPB, large offshore wind farms have been making electricity for three decades in Europe, and more recently in Asia. Vineyard Wind was conceived as a way to launch offshore wind in the United States, and prove that the industry wasn’t dead in the United States at at time when many people thought it was.

The first U.S. offshore wind farm was supposed to be a project off the coast of Massachusetts known as Cape Wind. The application was submitted to the federal government in 2001. It failed after years of local opposition and litigation. Turbines began spinning off Rhode Island’s Block Island in 2016. But with just five of them, it’s not a commercial-scale wind farm.

Vineyard Wind submitted state and federal project plans to build an offshore wind farm in 2017. Massachusetts had committed to offshore wind by requiring its utilities to solicit proposals for up to 1,600 megawatts of offshore wind power by 2027.

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