Sierra Club comment on first offshore wind farm coming online
Statement of Sierra Club Virginia Chapter Director Kate Addleson on the first live offshore wind farm in the United States, Block Island Wind Farm, coming online.
Today the first offshore wind farm in the United States, the Block Island Wind Farm, started producing electricity in the waters off Rhode Island. In response, Kate Addleson, Director of the Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club, said the following:
“It’s great news that the first offshore wind farm in the United States is up and running. We congratulate Rhode Island on this historic achievement. However, this is also a clear missed opportunity for the Commonwealth to be a leader in clean energy.
“Dominion purchased Virginia’s sole offshore wind development lease in 2013, but has been dragging its feet since then. It didn’t include offshore wind in its Integrated Resource Plan and has never presented state regulators with a plan to provide offshore wind energy to Virginia customers. And after securing funding from the Department of Energy for two offshore test turbines that were slated to come online in 2017, it reneged on the effort and lost $40 million in funding.
“Instead of being in position to have the first large-scale wind farm in the U.S., Virginia has ceded that position to other states. Massachusetts, New York and Maryland are all poised to have significant offshore wind industries ahead of us, together with the jobs and economic development that come with them. For Virginia, missing out on this opportunity means passing up 14 thousand jobs and enough clean, renewable energy to power at least 700 thousand homes in Virginia.”