With the completion of North America's first ever offshore wind farm this year and a further eleven areas off the Atlantic coast being leased for future wind development, the federal government has unveiled plans to install wind farms off almost every US coastline by 2050.
The new installation, Block Island Wind Farm off Rhode Island was completed in August and is expected to begin generating electricity for New Englanders later this year. It's a small installation, wtih only five wind turbines capable of generating 30 megawatts of electricity, however this is seen as the beginning of something big for the U.S.
The U.S. have finally switched on to offshore wind and they are beginning to see the huge potential of zero carbon electricity, which if fully exploited could deliver twice the electricity the U.S. produced in 2015.
The National Offshore Wind Strategy is part of Obama's 'Climate Action Plan' and calls for major investments in North American offshore wind construction.
"I don't think the significance of America's first offshore wind farm coming online can be overstated at this point," said Nancy Sopko, manager of federal legislative affairs for the American Wind Energy Association, an industry trade group. "This is more than just the first project. This is a dawn of an entirely new source of U.S. energy."
We don't know the implications of a new U.S. administration entering the White House, however if the Block Island Wind Farm delivers, we would anticipate that offshore wind development would be an exciting new industry for any government to embrace.