Last month, construction began on what the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects to be the nation’s first offshore wind farm. Located three miles southeast of Block Island, Rhode Island, the Block Island Wind Farm is expected to come online in 2016 with five turbines totaling 30 megawatts of generation capacity.
According to the EIA, there is an estimated 8.8 gigawatts (GW) of installed global offshore wind turbine capacity worldwide; 90% of which is in Europe. Offshore wind turbines can take advantage of more consistent wind speeds over the ocean, which allows for greater utilization rates than onshore wind turbines. However, offshore projects are significantly more expensive to build and maintain due to factors such as transporting equipment and workers to the sites, securing the turbines to the bottom of the ocean, and the need for greater maintenance due to the harsher offshore environment.
Click here to read more at the EIA’s website.