The Biden administration announced Tuesday that it is moving forward with the nation’s first large-scale offshore wind project, a significant step toward achieving President Joe Biden’s goal of increasing US renewable energy production.
The 800-megawatt Vineyard Wind project, set to be located about 12 nautical miles off the shore of Martha’s Vineyard, will include up to 84 turbines, according to an announcement from the Departments of the Interior and Commerce.
Interior Secretary Deb Haaland described the project’s approval as “an important step toward advancing the Administration’s goals to create good-paying union jobs while combating climate change and powering our nation.”
“Today is one of many actions we are determined to take to open the doors of economic opportunity to more Americans,” she said in a statement.
Earlier this year, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management completed its environmental review of the project, estimated to create 3,600 jobs and power 400,000 homes and businesses, according to the Interior Department.
Renewable energy has been a focus of the Biden administration since early in the President’s tenure. In late January, he signed executive orders aimed at addressing the climate crisis, which included the goal of doubling renewable energy production from offshore wind by 2030.
And in March, the administration announced a massive, coordinated effort to bolster offshore wind energy projects in the United States in order to jump-start a “clean energy revolution.” As part of that initiative, which spans multiple government agencies, the Departments of the Interior, Energy and Commerce committed to a shared goal of generating 30 gigawatts of offshore wind in the US by 2030. This target will lead to employing more than 44,000 workers in offshore wind by 2030 and nearly 33,000 additional jobs in communities supported by offshore wind activity, according to a government fact sheet.
The March initiative came less than a week after the Biden administration had announced its goal of reducing solar electricity costs by 60% over the next decade.
Environmental implications are a big focus of the President’s American Jobs Plan, a roughly $2 trillion infrastructure proposal that he has said would create hundreds of thousands of jobs while tackling the climate crisis, reducing emissions and building a “modern, resilient and fully clean grid.”
Biden kicked off a two-day virtual White House climate summit last month attended by 40 other world leaders by announcing an ambitious reduction target for greenhouse gas emissions as he looks to put the US back at the center of the global effort to address the climate crisis and curb carbon emissions.