The Biden administration announced on Tuesday the approval of a plan to build the first U.S. large-scale offshore wind project. The project, off the coast of the northeastern state of Massachusetts, is designed to generate 800 megawatts of power.
A joint statement from the U.S. Interior and Commerce departments said the project, known as Vineyard Wind, will be built about 22 kilometers to the south of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket islands.
The administration says the project will create 3,600 jobs and, when completed, will feature up to 84 wind turbines that will provide enough power for 400,000 homes and businesses. Construction is scheduled to begin later this year, with the wind farm possibly becoming operational in 2023.
In a statement, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said the project “demonstrates that we can fight the climate crisis, while creating high-paying jobs and strengthening our competitiveness at home and abroad.”
Environmental groups and clean power advocates are applauding the announcement, and the project will help the administration meet its goal of generating 30 gigawatts of energy from offshore wind by 2030.
But some commercial fishing groups on the U.S. East Coast have argued that offshore wind farms could make it difficult to harvest seafood such as fish, scallops and lobsters. Others have complained wind farms block ocean views.
The Associated Press reports an earlier wind project proposed for the area, Cape Wind, had been scrapped after widespread opposition saying it would have been too close to shore.