The Biden administration approved an offshore wind farm off the coast of Rhode Island on Wednesday as part of a plan to deploy 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030.
The U.S. Department of the Interior announced it approved the construction and operations of the South Fork Wind project, the department's second approval of a commercial-scale, offshore wind energy project in the United States.
Last week, the department marked the groundbreaking off the coast of Massachusetts for the first commercial-scale offshore wind project.
Seven major offshore wind farms would be developed on the east and west coasts of the U.S. and in the Gulf of Mexico under a plan announced last month by the Biden administration to build infrastructure, create jobs and address global warming. Deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy would generate enough electricity to power more than 10 million homes.
The South Fork Wind project will be located about 19 miles southeast of Block Island, Rhode Island, and 35 miles east of Montauk Point, New York. It's expected to provide roughly 130 megawatts, enough power for about 70,000 homes.
The Interior Department approved up to 12 turbines. Rhode Island coastal regulators gave the project critical approval this spring over the objections of the fishing industry and some environmentalists.
Commercial fishing businesses have said planned offshore wind projects off the East Coast would make it difficult to harvest valuable seafood species such as scallops and lobsters. Some conservation groups fear that big turbines will kill birds.