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Biden admin. approves construction of major wind farm for Rhode Island

Nov. 24 (UPI) — The Biden administration on Wednesday announced it has approved construction of a large-scale wind farm project off the coast of Rhode Island that will supply 70,000 of New York homes with power.

The Department of the Interior in a statement said that the 130-megawatt South Fork Wind project will be constructed about 19 miles southeast of Block Island, Rhode Island, and 35 miles east of Montauk Point, New York, and will create 340 jobs in the process.

“We have no time to waste in cultivating and investing in a clean energy economy that can sustain us for generations,” said Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland.

The project is the second major offshore wind project in U.S. federal waters after the first commercial project broke ground in Massachusetts last week.

The projects are a part of the Biden administration’s goal to develop 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030.

“Achieving the 30 GW goal can result in the creation of tens of thousands of good-paying union jobs across the country, as American moves to ramp up domestic supply chains for all aspects of offshore renewable energy development,” said Laura Daniel-Davis, principal deputy assistant secretary for Land and Mineral Management.

In an effort to achieve its goal, Haaland said in October that the Bureau of Ocean Energy management is exploring the possibility of seven new offshore lease sales by 2025 in the Gulf of Maine, New York Bright, Central Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico, as well as offshore the Carolinas, California and Ocean.

“The Interior Department is laying out an ambitious roadmap as we advance the administration’s plans to confront climate change, create good-paying jobs and accelerate the nation’s transition to a clearer engird future,” Haaland said.

The project announced will consist of as many as 12 turbines off Rhode Island, and the Interior Department said it has adopted a range of measures to aid in avoiding, minimizing and mitigating potential impacts that could result from the construction of the proposed project.

The department said it consulted with tribes, industry, ocean users and other stakeholders in the project, but the Responsible Offshore Development Alliance said the South Fork project was approved without taking “reasonable measures” to protect seafood producers.

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