In Brief
  • The Obama administration unveiled a plan to build wind farms off of nearly every U.S. coastline by 2050—enough turbines to generate zero-carbon electricity for more than 23 million homes.
  • The Rhode Island Block Island Wind Project is the first commercial offshore wind farm ever built in the United States.

The Block Island Wind Project, an offshore wind farm developed by Deepwater Wind, has officially commenced commercial operations. This marks the first commercial offshore wind farm in US history.

The Block Island Wind Farm is located off the cost of Rhode Island and is a 30 megawatt, five turbine installation. A submarine transmission cable system is linking the energy produced by the wind farm to the grid.

Deepwater Wind has projected plans for more offshore wind farms. According to their website: “we are actively planning offshore wind projects to serve multiple East Coast markets located 15 or more miles offshore, including New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Jersey.”

Despite the uncertainty brought about by the incoming Trump administration, the rising capacity and plummeting costs of renewable energy yields optimism for a clean energy future for the US. The Department of Energy released a new report outlining five promising clean energy technologies, a project called “Revolution…Now.”

The Block Island Wind Farm in Rhode Island is the United States' first-ever offshore wind farm. Credit: Scott Eisen Getty Images
The costs of wind energy plummets as its capacity increases. US Department of Energy.

Another report conducted by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory used a supercomputer to make the necessary calculations and ultimately concluded that the eastern US could get one-third of its energy from renewables by 2025. Apart from these initiatives, more and more people are joining the clean energy revolution in creative ways.

“This is a historic milestone for reducing our nation’s dependence on fossil fuels, and I couldn’t be more thrilled that it’s happening here in the Ocean State,” U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse said.