April 17, 2019

IMBY:

OFFSHORE WIND FARMS ARE SPINNING UP IN THE US--AT LAST  (ERIC NIILER, 04.17.19, Wired)

ON JUNE 1, the Pilgrim nuclear plant in Massachusetts will shut down, a victim of rising costs and a technology that is struggling to remain economically viable in the United States. But the electricity generated by the aging nuclear station soon will be replaced by another carbon-free source: a fleet of 84 offshore wind turbines rising nearly 650 feet above the ocean's surface.

The developers of the Vineyard Wind project say their turbines--anchored about 14 miles south of Martha's Vineyard--will generate 800 megawatts of electricity once they start spinning sometime in 2022. That's equivalent to the output of a large coal-fired power plant and more than Pilgrim's 640 megawatts.

"Offshore wind has arrived," says Erich Stephens, chief development officer for Vineyard Wind, a developer based in New Bedford, Massachusetts, that is backed by Danish and Spanish wind energy firms. He explains that the costs have fallen enough to make developers take it seriously. "Not only is wind power less expensive, but you can place the turbines in deeper water, and do it less expensively than before."

Last week, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities awarded Vineyard Wind a 20-year contract to provide electricity at 8.9 cents/kilowatt-hour. That's about a third the cost of other renewables (such as Canadian hydropower), and it's estimated that ratepayers will save $1.3 billion in energy costs over the life of the deal.

Posted by at April 17, 2019 4:26 AM

  

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