Energy

1st US Offshore Wind Turbine Breaks Before It Even Opened For Business

A wind turbine that’s part of the first U.S. offshore wind farm broke down before the site started commercially producing power.

It’s not clear why the turbine isn’t spinning and generating electricity, says Block Island wind farm owner Deepwater Wind, but the company suspects the turbine’s generator was damaged by a drill bit accidentally left inside.

Deepwater Wind claims that it will be repaired and working “in the near term,” according to The Associated Press. The offshore wind farm was supposed to open last month, but developers are still awaiting final approval. Commercial operations of the wind turbines are set to begin later this month.

Three miles off the Rhode Island coast, Block Island was supposed to generate enough electricity to power 17,000 homes. But the five turbines would have cost $300 million each, effectively $17,600 dollars per home — and that doesn’t include the costs of operating the turbines.

The high cost of offshore wind doesn’t worry environmentalists, because, as Salon.com says about the project, “it’s the precedent that counts.”

Despite the high cost, federal officials want to power a whopping 23 million homes with offshore wind by the year 2050.

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