By Ramona du Houx
November 23, 2021
President Biden’s administration gave the go ahead on a major offshore wind project to supply power to New York, as part of a broader push to build out renewable energy and tackle climate change.
The federal government’s approval on November 24 of a dozen wind turbines, located off the coast of Rhode Island, will send power to the eastern end of Long Island. The move inches the country closer to the Biden administration’s goal of generating 30 gigawatts of power from offshore wind energy by the end of the decade. Harnessing the Atlantic’s fierce winds is prominent in the president’s plan to wean the U.S. power sector off fossil fuels, which are dangerously warming the planet
At the moment, only seven commercial turbines — five in Rhode Island and two in Virginia — are up and spinning. Europe, by contrast, has already deployed over 5,000 offshore turbines.
The University of Maine has developed and patented offshore floating wind platforms with specialized turbines that could revolutionize offshore wind applications. The key is these floating platforms can be located in deep waters where fixed bottom turbines can’t be. This technology, developed by Dr. Habib Dagher and his UMaine team, could have world wide applications. A small wind farm using it will be deployed off the coast of Maine in the near future. (photo right of a prototype of the deepwater floating turbine – the VolturnUS.)