1 of 2 | U.S. President Joe Biden discussed offshore wind with governors, labor leaders and private companies earlier this week. On Thursday, the administration said it started the review process for a wind farm off the coast of Massachusetts. Photo by Shawn Thew/UPI | License Photo
June 29 (UPI) -- A proposed wind farm off the coast of Massachusetts with a potential to meet the energy demands of 850,000 homes is under an environmental review, the U.S. government said Thursday.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced the review process was under way for the 2.4 gigawatt facility proposed by Beacon Wind.
"BOEM is advancing the Administration's ambitious energy goals while remaining diligent in our efforts to avoid, minimize, and mitigate impacts to ocean users and the marine environment," said BOEM Director Elizabeth Klein.
The Energy Department released a plan in March to meet President Joe Biden's goal of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore energy by 2030, which would power 10 million homes.
The plan would generate $12 billion in private investments and support 77,000 jobs, the Energy Department said. It could reduce offshore wind costs from $73 per megawatt-hour to $51 per MWh by 2030.
Beacon Wind is proposing two sites situated about 17 miles south of Nantucket. Combined, the 2.4 GW of energy could be enough to meet the annual demands of an estimated 850,000 homes.
Plans call for up to 155 wind turbines and associated infrastructure to bring the power onshore in New York and Connecticut. BOEM estimates the construction phase could create nearly 6,500 jobs.
Consultant group Wood Mackenzie found the global wind energy market will have 1 terawatt (1 million watts) of installed capacity by the end of the year. It will expand by seven times that amount by 2032.
The U.S. energy sector, however, is far behind the rest of the world in terms of offshore installations as there are only two commercial wind farms operating in its territorial waters. That said, Beacon Wind marks the 11th offshore wind project to enter the environmental review process since Biden took office.