On Tuesday, Massachusettes Governor Deval Patrick announced than a more than 1,160 square mile area off the coast of Rhode Island will be opened up for commercial wind leases. These leases could result in a series of wind farms located about 12 miles offshore and just south of Martha’s Vineyard. According to U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, fourteen offshore wind energy companies have already expressed interest in these leases.
The photograph above captures part of the 180 MW Robin Rigg offshore windfarm in Europe. It was Scotland’s first offshore windfarm and has been generating electricity since 2009. It currently includes 60 Vestas V90, 3 MW wind turbines. In its first year of operation it recorded 98% availability, showing how offshore wind can overcome the intermittency challenges frequently seen with onshore wind projects.