Offshore Wind Gets Moving in Massachusetts

from Wildlife Promise

Blade Testing Facility, credit Carol Oldham/NWF

There was a lot of excitement this afternoon at the Wind Technology Testing Facility in Charlestown MA. NWF and other local and national groups were present as state and federal officials came together to move offshore wind forward in the federal waters off Massachusetts.

NWF was there because we believe that global warming is the single biggest threat to wildlife, and we have to move forward to develop clean energy in a way that is environmentally responsible . National Wildlife Federation supports the development of offshore wind energy as a critical part of the solution to climate change, which threatens wildlife and habitat across the globe. From sea level rise to the warming of mountain peaks, entire species and ecosystems are in jeopardy.

The official announcement was very heavy in acronyms and but the basics are this: Things are moving on offshore wind in Massachusetts! Environmental groups and state agencies are excited! The public is interested! And the Obama administration is moving the process forward with a steady hand! (If you want more details and all the acronyms, the press release is here).

I live tweeted from the event, and here are some things I heard:

  •  Wind off Massachusett’s shore is abundant, says BOEM Director Tommy P. Beaudreau
  • “If we get clean energy right here in Massachusetts, the whole world will be our customer” said Massachusetts Energy Undersecretary Barbara Kates-Garnick
  • Recent weird weather (tornadoes in January, severe flooding, wildfires and drought) shows that we must pursue clean and environmentally sound energy like offshore wind, says Sue Reid of the Conservation Law Foundation

The facility itself was really cool, too. There were three massive blades that are being tested for flex, stress, etc – the picture above is of one of the blades – it is hard to tell the scale in my picture, but let me tell you, they are huge.

The next step is two information sessions that the Bureau of Ocean Energy management is having soon. These will be a chance to speak up and say that offshore wind is a good way to address our energy needs, create jobs, and protect our precious natural resources.

The first one is on Martha’s Vineyard on Monday, February 13 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm at the Katharine Cornell Theatre, 54 Spring Street, Vineyard Haven.

The next is in Boston on Tuesday, February 14 from 3:00 to 5:00 pm at the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, 2nd floor, 100 Cambridge Street, Boston. Come out and show some LOVE for offshore wind on Valentine’s Day!

According to the world’s leading scientists, as many as 30% of species worldwide will face extinction this century if warming trends continue. If we are to protect wildlife from the dangers of a warming world, then we must take appropriate, responsible action to bring the offshore wind energy resources of the Atlantic Ocean ashore. National Wildlife Federation is working with a broad coalition of partners to build momentum and support for the rapid, environmentally-responsible development of our offshore wind energy resources.

We look forward to working with everyone to make environmentally responsible renewable energy happen offshore in Massachusetts and beyond.