MA - Turning turbines: Massachusetts and the offshore wind energy industry

Towers taller than the Statue of Liberty are popping up throughout the seas, generating energy for a booming industry.

Offshore wind energy companies, which are now leasing almost 390,000 acres of oceanic waters near Massachusetts, mark a rapidly growing industry that was recently prioritized in Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s call for a Blue New Deal.

As an alternative to fossil fuels, offshore wind turbines generate energy that is carried back to shore by cables. With the global market set to grow 13% annually, about 150 global offshore wind projects will be completed in the next five years. In waters around Massachusetts, multiple projects are already in progress.

Mayflower Wind, a joint venture of Shell New Energies and EDP Renewables Offshore North America, has begun contract negotiations with electric distribution companies. Their Director of Permitting and Development, Seth Kaplan, who previously worked at the Conservation Law Foundation, has watched the industry expand.

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