New Moves On American Wind Power

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Big new offshore wind farms are opening up, with a lot of muscle. We’ll look at wind, oil and the future of energy in America.

Three wind turbines from the Deepwater Wind project off Block Island, R.I. (Michael Dwyer/AP)
Three wind turbines from the Deepwater Wind project off Block Island, R.I. (Michael Dwyer/AP)

California was early to wind power. Then the Midwest and beyond – Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas, Illinois. Texas is huge -- number one. Now, the eastern seaboard is jumping in with offshore wind power generation. The turbines are turning out there. Big new deals are inked. The new administration in Washington is talking coal and oil pipelines. But renewables are surging. Where does the American energy mix go, between markets, policy and climate change? This hour On Point, energy in a windstorm. — Tom Ashbrook


Daniel Cusick, reporter for E&E News' ClimateWire, covering wind energy and energy markets. (@dcusickmpls)

Jeff Grybowski, CEO of Deepwater Wind. (@JGrybowski)

Mark Barteau, director of the University of Michigan's Energy Institute, where he is also a professor of advanced energy research.

Gretchen Bakke, professor of anthropology at McGill University. Author of "The Grid."

Why Deepwater Wind's Jeff Grybowski Is Optimistic About Wind Energy

"Obviously, this requires quite a bit of planning," Jeff Grybowski, CEO of Deepwater Wind, told On Point host Tom Ashbrook today. His company is behind an in-operation wind farm three miles of the coast of Block Island, R.I., and has just received approval to build another wind farm 30 miles off Montauk at the eastern end of New York's Long Island. "This is big construction, this is very heavy industry — very similar to the kind of work we do in the offshore oil and gas industries," Grybowski said. By reporter Daniel Cusick's count, up to 20 percent of our national energy needs could come from wind power, both offshore and on, by the year 2020 — and Grybowski could imagine several hundred turbines to be spinning for his company by the year 2030. His company's pending Montauk facility was, by his standards, the "most cost-competitive new source of generation" for the coastal community on Long Island — and while the new administration in Washington hasn't quite clarified its position on wind energy yet, Grybowski remains optimistic. "There are 100,000 individuals working in the wind industry right now in the United States," Grybowski said. "The fastest growing job in the United States is wind turbine technician...they will embrace it."

From Tom’s Reading List

E&E GreenWire: Wind expands to country's 4th-largest electricity source — "U.S. wind power developers installed nearly 6,500 megawatts of new generation capacity between October and December, marking the industry's second-largest quarterly growth and solidifying wind's position as the nation's No. 1 renewable energy resource, according to data released this morning by the American Wind Energy Association."

The Wall Street Journal: New York State’s First Offshore Wind Farm Gets Green Light — "The Long Island Power Authority completed an agreement Wednesday to build New York state’s first offshore wind farm 30 miles east of Montauk, N.Y., the latest effort by the industry to gain traction in the U.S. market."

RIPR: Deepwater Wind Secures Approval For Long Island Wind Farm — "Once operational in late 2022, the farm could provide energy to nearly 50,000 homes. Last November, Deepwater began full operation of the nation’s first offshore wind farm off of Block Island, Rhode Island."

Read An Excerpt Of "The Grid" By Gretchen Bakke

This program aired on February 13, 2017.


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