The ongoing Gulf oil spill crisis is a painful reminder why we need to heavily invest in clean energy technology. With the announcement last month of the United States' first offshore wind farm, Cape Wind, hopes have risen for other proposed offshore wind projects. Onshore, the US was the world's leading wind power producer in 2008, though it still accounts for only 2% of our electricity.
Here are 7 wind power projects in the works, offshore and onshore, to help get the US on track toward a clean energy future.
Delaware Offshore Wind Farm
NRG Bluewater Wind has proposed a wind farm 13 miles off the coast of Delaware that is projected to provide enough energy for as many as 100,000 homes. Delmarva Power has agreed to purchase as much as 200 megawatts of power from the wind farm. Bluewater Wind has commissioned realistic imagery to simulate what the wind farm would like from the beach, which you can view here.
Garden State Offshore Energy
Garden State Offshore Energy is a joint venture by PSEG Renewable Generation and Deepwater Wind. The New Jersey Public Board Of Utilities chose GSOE in 2008 as the successful developer to build a wind farm off New Jersey's coast. GSOE's proposed project will produce up to 350 megawatts 16 miles off the shore of South Jersey.
Block Island Offshore Wind
Deepwater Wind has been selected to develop an offshore wind farm in Rhode Island just off of Block Island, but the project hit a snag when the Public Utilities Commission rejected a contract between Deepwater and National Grid, the state's primary electric utility, in March. The PUC claimed the rate at which Deepwater had agreed to sell the wind farm's electricity to National Grid was too high. Deepwater is now awaiting the passing of legislation proposed by two of the state's senators which would allow them to enter into the contract without the PUC's approval. If built, Deepwater claims its wind farm could supply as much as 15% of Rhode Island's energy.
Titan Wind Project
The Titan Wind Project is a proposed 5,050 megawatt wind farm in South Dakota that would be one of the largest wind farms in the world when completed. Developed by Clipper Windpower and BP Alternative Energy, the first phase of the project was completed in 2009, with a 25 megawatt capacity. Operating at maximum capacity, the final finished wind farm would far exceed the electricity requirements for every single home in South Dakota.
Tehachapi Renewal Project
100 miles north of Los Angeles, the Tehachapi Pass has been a site of wind power development since the 80s. Southern California Edison began construction on their Tehachapi Renewal Project in 2008. Expected to be completed by 2013, the wind farm will have a 4,500 megawatt capacity, making it the largest US wind farm (until the completion of the Titan Wind Project).
Banner County Wind Farm
Midwest Wind Energy has proposed a 2,000 megawatt wind farm in Banner County, Nebraska. The 600 to 800 turbine wind farm would be the largest in Nebraska, but could take a decade to complete. The $60 million dollar project would create thousands of construction jobs and around 100 permanent ones. The project was designed so large to help encourage an upgrade of the area's electricity transmission grid.
Meadow Lake Wind Farm
The first phase of Horizon Wind Energy's Meadow Lake Wind Farm in Indiana went online in 2009, with a generating capacity of almost 200 megawatts. The second phase, almost 100 megawatts, is currently under construction, with other proposed phases expected to begin soon. The project could reach 1,000 megawatts when fully completed.