Offshore Wind experts testified at a virtual hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Energy, the Environment, and Cyber sponsored by U.S. Rep. Bill Keating, D-Bourne, on the industry’s success to date and what would benefit its continued development in America. Offshore Wind, as described by Keating, is a booming, clean, and job-creating energy industry. Keating described the hearing as an opportunity for learning and cooperation, noting that America is well positioned to build Offshore Wind farms as a result of great achievements accomplished by European pioneers, beginning with Europe’s first farm, which was built in Denmark in 1991.
Lars Pedersen, the CEO of Vineyard Wind, said that he has worked on 15 Offshore Wind projects and has watched Offshore Wind evolve from experimental to valued and thriving in Europe. Offshore Wind was an expensive specialist technology in Europe in the mid-2000s, but it is currently the cheapest and fastest-growing energy industry in much of Northern Europe.
In those early days, we discovered that in order to reduce costs, we needed to scale up the industry in terms of project size and technology, while also ensuring that bottlenecks were resolved early on to ensure project delivery certainty. According to Pedersen, the size of wind turbines has expanded by nearly a factor of six in the last 15 years. Vineyard Wind 1 will be built with 13 megawatt General Electric GE Haliade-X turbines, totaling 62 across the wind farm, according to Pedersen.
These turbines, according to Pedersen, are the largest commercially available. Overall, he stated that Vineyard Wind 1 will be constructed using components from as many American companies as possible. The 62 turbines will be located 15 miles south of the Vineyard and will generate 800 megawatts of electricity, according to The New York Times. Two export cables lying beneath the Atlantic bottom will transport the electricity.