Did you know that there are over 70,000 wind turbines generating clean, green energy around the country?
These wind turbines are generating enough energy to fully support around 43 million homes across the United States, helping transition away from our reliance on fossil fuels. Wind turbines are incredibly effective at generating clean energy but can also create new jobs in the process.
When it comes to offshore wind farms, New York decided to lead the way with a massive $500m investment. This investment was made to help usher in a new era of energy for the state, boosting the local economy at the same time.
Interested in learning more about New York’s massive investment in green energy? You’re in the right place. Here’s everything you need to know about the $500m wind farm investment.
While most of the energy production around the world used to rely on the burning of fossil fuels, realities such as global warming have forced us to look for better solutions. This led to the evolution of energy production and the adoption of modern, clean alternatives. These alternative sources of energy include renewable technology such as wind farms, hydroelectric plants, and solar panels.
The Transition to Green Energy
The transition to green energy has taken a long time but is finally here. The most popular way to transition to green energy at home is through the installation of solar panels. Governments from around the world used tax incentives to help encourage homeowners to switch to solar, leading to over two million homes in the United States now having solar panels.
While solar panels at home are great to subsidize your energy reliance on the grid, the truth is that it’s not enough to go completely off the grid. This is where larger energy solutions such as wind farms and hydroelectric plants come into play. Since hydroelectric plants are expensive and location-specific, wind farms tend to be the next best option.
These farms are large locations that house hundreds of wind turbines. These turbines are incredibly efficient at generating electricity and are connected directly to the grid. In this way, the electricity can be created and contributed to easing reliance on non-renewable energy sources.
NY Renewable Energy
New York State created and implemented a renewable energy plan back in 2014. This energy plan outlined a clear transition for the state to adopt modern energy generation technology, with wind farms playing a crucial role. Governor Andrew Cuomo launched the plan in 2015 with clear goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% and transition 50% of the state’s energy to clean, renewable sources.
NY Wind Plan
New York is a very populated state that does not have much open space for nuclear plants or solar farms. This is why the NY wind plan sought to expand to the ocean and create offshore wind farms that can help generate electricity at sea.
Governor Hochuls Announcement
Governor Hochul confirmed the wind plan with an announcement that the state itself would be directly investing in the solar farm. This was a massive investment for the state, with figures ranging from around $400m to $500m by the time construction is complete. Due to the size and scope of this project, the offshore plant is set to be ready by 2028.
New York did not simply invest in this project for clean energy; they also recognized the economic benefits of transitioning away from fossil fuels. This is because investing in an offshore wind farm managed to create hundreds of jobs in the area. Early reports speculate that thousands of jobs will be created during construction, with around 800 permanent jobs to help manage the farm.
A Sizeable Investment in Green Energy
While many may agree and disagree with the investment, the truth is that the $500m commitment to renewable energy signals a clear direction for the state’s energy strategy. The project plans to run a 25-mile transmission line to connect the wind farm to the state, powering hundreds of thousands of homes in the process.
Offshore Wind Farms, New York
As mentioned above, the offshore wind farm is set to be constructed around 25 miles away from the state of New York. This location was carefully chosen to take advantage of the higher wind speeds while also minimizing the risks associated with wind farms. Since the farm is located in isolation, there’s little to no risk of malfunctions causing damage to residential areas in New York.
In this way, megacities like New York City get to reap the benefits of wind turbines without having to deal with the immediate risk of having them nearby. While the $500m direct investment comes from New York State, the entire project is rumored to be worth around $4,5 billion. This highlights the massive scale of the wind farm that’s set to help ease New York’s reliance on fossil fuels in the future.
Wind Farm Safety
While wind energy is a great way to transition to renewables, wind turbines are a controversial topic. This is because wind turbines and wind farms come with a few notable safety risks. Here’s a quick look at a few of these safety issues.
During the colder months of the year, it’s possible for water to freeze on the blades of the wind turbine. This ice can then fly off the blade as it rotates, causing a lot of damage in the process. There have been a few incidents of ice flying into nearby homes, which is why it’s better for wind farms to be located far away from residential property.
Wind Turbine Fires
Wind turbines come with a few mechanical components to convert the rotation of the blades into electricity. While this process is incredibly efficient, it can sometimes cause the internal gearbox to overheat and catch on fire. These fires can cause a lot of damage to the turbine itself but can cause the entire wind turbine to fall and cause even more damage below.
As mentioned above, when things go wrong inside the wind turbine, it can cause the entire turbine to break and fall to the ground. One of the first parts to fall are the blades, which can fly off in all directions. These falling blades can be incredibly dangerous as they can reach scary speeds as they make their way to the ground.
The worst-case scenario is a dangerous combination of a fire and flying blades. This occurs when the inner gearbox overheats, malfunctions, and causes an internal explosion. This explosion can then cause the entire wind turbine to explode, leaving the entire area with quite a bit of damage.
Safety Precautions on Wind Farms
As you can see, wind farms come with a few notable safety risks. From ice throws to entire wind turbines catching on fire, anything can happen. This is why wind farms and green energy companies invest in safety and maintenance for their offshore facilities.
The main way that green energy companies ensure safety on site is through regular safety inspections. Wind farms employ engineers and safety professionals to regularly inspect the wind turbines to ensure that everything is running efficiently. All wind farms also employ a full-time, on-site safety officer to respond to any issues immediately.
Another major way that green energy companies try to limit the safety risk of wind farms is to conduct regular maintenance on all the turbines. Wind turbines are inspected and serviced every few months to ensure that there are no issues going undetected.
In addition to this, each wind turbine is fitted with tons of sensors so that the engineers on the ground can spot even the smallest of issues quickly.
It’s also important to prepare for the worst by drafting a holistic safety plan. This plan is set to kick in as soon as something goes wrong to help keep everyone safe. This plan should be put in place and explained to everyone working on the wind farm so that everyone knows exactly what you do in an emergency situation.
What You Can Do After a Wind Farm Accident
Green energy is the future. With a massive $500m investment in offshore wind farms, New York has made its intentions to move to green energy clear. While offshore wind farms are a great solution, it does come with a few safety risks as well.
If you ever find yourself in a wind farm accident, a wind farm accident lawyer is the first person you should call. These experienced legal professionals can help you every step of the way so that you get the compensation that you deserve. Click here to contact one today!