Block island will get all of its energy from the wind farm when it's complete.
Looking across the calm, smooth Atlantic waters from the docks of the small island town of New Shoreham, Rhode Island, it may be hard to tell, but preparations are well underway for the nation's first offshore wind farm to begin operating here before the year ends.
The U.S. could learn a thing or two from the Danes.
The economics are interesting. Today, Block Island has no electrical connection to the mainland, so its power comes from expensive and environmentally unfriendly diesel generation, which the Block Island Power Company bills at 24 cents per kilowatt-hour in peak season.
Block Island calls itself the "Last Great Place," but this small island 12 miles off the coast of Rhode Island is first in the hearts of environmentalists and clean energy advocates across the nation today. Big things are happening just off the shore of that little island.
Did you know that coastal activity in Atlantic states -- ranging from fishing, tourism, recreation and more -- supports about 1.4 million jobs and net about $95 billion in gross domestic product every year?
Part 2 of this three-part series concerning America's first offshore wind farm was an October interview with Cape Wind's Communications Director Mark Rodgers. Rodgers recently recalled the significance of Massachusetts's original windmills to the early economy of Cape Cod:
If you are an environmental lawyer, there is nothing more deflating than reading a judge's decision that clinically rejects all your best arguments. I know because I have had my share of losing environmental cases.
The next time someone on the right falsely decries environmentalists for killing American jobs through lawsuits, ask them to explain why their friends in Massachusetts are doing the same thing.
There are those who say that the U.S. needs to focus more on innovation to create new clean energy technologies, rather than relying entirely on existing technologies like solar PV and land-based wind. They are right.
Other countries are taking offshore wind development far more seriously than the U.S. It's not too late, but the U.S. needs to up its game to see offshore wind as a scalable, commercial sector.
The lease auctions are the first step in the construction of offshore wind farms. So far, there are no utility-scale wind