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Approval Granted for USA's Largest Wind Farm

26 Jan 17:00 by Steve Walia

Offshore Wind Farm

Environmentalists in the USA have received some good news amongst a storm of gloom - permission has been granted to build the biggest offshore wind farm in America.

At a time when there is a lot of concern around President Trump's views on climate change, the news on South Fork Wind Farm is extremely positive indeed. The proposal is to build a 90Mw facility off Long Island developed by Deepwater Wind, who will now be seeking private investment.

If it moves into construction, South Fork will become America's second-largest offshore wind development, after the 30MW farm at Block Island which is already feeding into Rhode Island.

The CEO of Deepwater, Jeffrey Grybowski, issued a statement saying that the news represented a big day for New York's clean energy drive and pointing to the vast wind energy resource that was available along the coastline, offering unlimited potential to local communities.

The Department of Energy has estimated that the USA could potentially tap into 2,000 Gw of wind power off its shores - known as the 'technical' capacity. This would roughly equate to 200pc of the current energy produced from fossil fuels across the entire country each year.

However, it has proven to be extremely challenging to progress wind power projects in America, mainly due to the lack of supportive regulation at federal and state level, alongside fierce resistance from coastal communities with views over the sea.

Now, of course, there will be a 'wait and see' about Trump's policies on green energy, particularly with fears around his war on climate science. The hope is that Trump's personal views on wind turbines, which include beliefs that the technology sends steel into the atmosphere and hurts the country's bald eagle population, don't prevent the industry from finally finding its feet.