The Biden administration has unveiled a strong federal government effort to promote and speed up installations of offshore wind power. Through funding and the streamlining of the bureaucratic process for offshore wind approval, the federal government hopes to oversee a 30,000 megawatt increase in offshore wind energy within 10 years.

East Coast Has Good Offshore Wind Potential

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The United States is a major global presence in wind energy but only with land-based wind turbines. The country only has two small offshore wind installations by Virginia and Rhode Island totaling only seven wind turbines and generating 42 megawatts.

Block Island Offshore Wind Farm, aerial view. Credit: Ionna22

The Atlantic Coast of the Eastern United States has a relatively shallow continental shelf suitable for building offshore wind farms. States in that region see offshore wind as their best option for generating clean energy to serve a dense population along the coast.

Federal Agencies Prepare To Support Offshore Wind

The U.S. Department of the Interior will expedite reviews of 16 proposed offshore projects already seeking leases for coastal construction of megawatt turbines. The Interior Department is also working to designate the best wind energy areas on the East Coast.

The U.S. Department of Transportation will offer $200 million in grants related to building port facilities so that they can accommodate offshore wind installation and maintenance. At the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, scientists are developing the process for sharing data about ocean conditions and marine wildlife to facilitate offshore developments and avoid environmental problems that could interfere with permit approvals.

The federal government’s new emphasis on offshore wind energy could help the country catch up with the huge offshore wind assets already supplying power to Europe. Do you see offshore wind as a viable way to supply the East Coast with clean energy?

ABOUT The U.S. Department Of Interior

In 1789 Congress created three Executive Departments: Foreign Affairs (later in the same year renamed State), Treasury, and War. It also provided for an Attorney General and a Postmaster General. Domestic matters were apportioned by Congress among these departments.

The idea of setting up a separate department to handle domestic matters was put forward on numerous occasions. It wasn’t until March 3, 1849, the last day of the 30th Congress, that a bill was passed to create the Department of the Interior to take charge of the Nation’s internal affairs.

ABOUT The U.S. Department Of Transportation

The Department of Transportation was established by an act of Congress on October 15, 1966. The Department’s first official day of operation was April 1, 1967.

The top priorities at DOT are to keep the traveling public safe and secure, increase their mobility, and have our transportation system contribute to the nation’s economic growth.

DOT employs almost 55,000 people across the country, in the Office of the Secretary of Transportation (OST) and its operating administrations and bureaus, each with its own management and organizational structure.

ABOUT National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

NOAA is an agency of the U.S. government that enriches life through science. Our reach goes from the surface of the sun to the depths of the ocean floor as we work to keep the public informed of the changing environment around them.

From daily weather forecasts, severe storm warnings, and climate monitoring to fisheries management, coastal restoration and supporting marine commerce, NOAA’s products and services support economic vitality and affect more than one-third of America’s gross domestic product. NOAA’s dedicated scientists use cutting-edge research and high-tech instrumentation to provide citizens, planners, emergency managers and other decision-makers with reliable information they need, when they need it.

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