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WIND TURBINES AND CAPACITY

How tall is an offshore wind turbine?

The Block Island Wind Farm in Rhode Island, the first commercial offshore wind farm in the United States, has five turbines that are 589 feet tall from the ocean surface to the tip of the turbine. By comparison, the Washington Monument is close in height at 550 feet. New turbines may be taller as technology advances.

How much power is generated per turbine? 

The Block Island turbines have a capacity of 6 MW per turbine. Projects now in the pipeline are expected to generate 8 MW and 9.5 MW per turbine. Larger capacity turbines are in the research and development phase. Most current estimates assume that 1 MW equals 500 average American homes. Each 8 MW turbine could power 4,000 homes, putting New Jersey on the path toward the current goal of producing 3,500 MW, powering 2 million homes with clean, local offshore wind power by 2030. 

Credit: Chris Bentley

How much energy can be generated off of New Jersey? 

New Jersey’s long shoreline and shallow coastal waters provide a substantial offshore wind resource in federal waters far off our shores. Offshore wind turbines generate more energy than on-land wind turbines because average wind speed in the Atlantic off the Jersey shore is more than 20 mph and is pretty constant.

 

As of 2019, four wind energy areas (WEAs), in federal waters off the coast of New Jersey, have been leased to offshore wind developers. These could exceed NJ’s 3,500 MW commitment and may produce as much as 5,000 MW of electricity. In 2019, the federal government is expected to auction additional leases in the New York Bight that could also provide clean power for New Jersey’s homes and businesses.

 

Maps of these WEAs, and those under consideration for future leasing, may be viewed on the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management website.

 

Next: Offshore Siting of Turbines and Timing >