Power Electronics

National Report Tallies Up to 6 Gigawatts of Atlantic Offshore Wind Projects

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UP AND DOWN the Atlantic coast, states and offshore wind developers are making significant progress in advancing offshore projects according to a new report. The report finds that up to six gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind projects have been proposed along the Atlantic coast-the equivalent of about five coal-fired power plants and enough to power about 1.5 million average U.S. homes. Based on government analysis, the Atlantic Ocean has significant offshore wind potential, with more than 212 GW of wind resources in shallow waters where current technology is best suited.

In New York, the report finds a total 37.4 GW of wind potential in shallow water, 15 GW of which are commercially viable when environmental and socioeconomic factors are taken into account. The report includes a chart for each state's offshore wind resource, breaking down the data by water depth and distance offshore.

Featured in the report, the Long Island-NYC Offshore Wind Project is expected to solicit bids from private developers early next year. Transmission and environmental studies are being conducted, and the New York Power Authority has authorized the application for the lease of 64,500 acres of land beneath the Atlantic Ocean for development of the project in June 2010. When completed, the project's initial generation capacity will be 350 megawatts (MW), enough power to supply 78,750 to 105,000 homes. Despite a great deal of capacity, the Long Island-NYC Offshore Wind Project is the only project of its kind advancing in New York State. “Nine hundred and eighty four offshore wind turbines are spinning right now in Europe and not one in the Atlantic,” said Curtis Fisher, Offshore Wind Initiative Leader at the National Wildlife Federation.

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