Floating Turbines on the North Shore?

Floating_offshore_wind-400x225SAFE supports building offshore wind turbines on the North Shore that will connect their generated power into the grid on the Footprint site in Salem. SAFE advocated for a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) between the City of Salem and Footprint and in the final version of the CBA (2014) this language is included under Environmental Initiatives: “Footprint RealCo will support renewable energy initiatives, and will work with the City to assist with off shore wind interconnections to the National Grid switchyard on the site.”

There are promising signs now from Scotland that offshore floating wind turbines will perform very well. That means that the North Shore of Massachusetts with its excellent wind resources is a potential site for turbines. Statoil placed 5 floating turbines with a maximum capacity of 30 MW off the coast of Scotland and they are exceeding all expectations in delivering energy.

Five years ago, Statoil most was working on developing offshore wind in Maine until Governor Paul LePage blocked their efforts. Statoil withdrew in 2013 citing regulatory instability in the state. Let’s try to interest Statoil in Massachusetts where we need more renewables to meet the goals of our mandated Renewable Portfolio Standards under the Global Warming Solutions Act. And we now have a more hospitable political climate for offshore wind.

Climate Action reports on its website that Scotland is again leading the way in wind. Most of the country’s power comes from onshore wind turbines and hydropower. Now there’s offshore wind.

There in that rugged climate, the “world’s first floating offshore wind farm has performed better than expected after its initial three months of operation.” Read more.

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