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U.S. Approves Its First Major Offshore Wind Project

The secretaries of Interior and Commerce have announced the approval of an offshore wind farm project named Vineyard Wind. Vineyard Wind farm will be 800 MW (800,000 kW) and it will be located 12 nautical miles offshore from Martha’s Vineyard.

The project, which is the United States’ first major offshore wind power project is expected to create 3,600 jobs (I haven’t confirmed how many of them are permanent) in the vicinity and provide enough power for 400,000 homes and businesses.

Offshore wind farms have grown as both an alternative and compliment to onshore wind farms due to their performance and the fact that they aren’t occupying land. Wind farms located far out at sea receive stronger and more consistent winds due to the lack of obstacles such as buildings, trees and mountains.

Those strong wind speeds can result in a lower cost per kWh for electricity. However, one must consider the high cost of maintaining offshore wind farms. This is why offshore wind farms often have gearless wind turbines.

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