Gigantic Offshore Wind Farm In The Gulf Will Power Several Million Texas Homes
The Gulf of Mexico, just off the coast of Galveston, will soon be the home of an offshore wind farm that could power 2.3 million homes in Texas.
According to the Texas Tribune, the wind farm off the coast of Galveston will be one of two that are planned for the Gulf of Mexico, with the other one being off the coast of Louisiana.
Wind Farm Timeline
The Biden Administration announced the plan back in July, but the wind farms will not be operational for another few years, say the Texas grid operator and the U.S. Interior Department.
Right now, the only operational offshore wind farms are off the coasts of Rhode Island and Virginia, which combined produce 42 megawatts of energy, enough to power about 2,000 homes.
The new wind projects announced will be about 24 nautical miles off the coast of Galveston and cover about 546,645 acres, which is bigger than the city of Houston. The other wind farm will be off the coast of Lake Charles, Louisiana, and will cover about 188,023 acres which will power almost 800,000 homes.
Environmental Group on Board
“It’s exciting to see offshore wind in the Gulf getting closer to reality,” said Luke Metzger, Executive Director of Environment Texas, an environmental protection group. “With strong winds in the evenings when we need energy the most, offshore wind in the Gulf of Mexico would greatly complement Texas’ onshore renewable energy resources, help bolster our shaky electric grid and help our environment.”
More Drilling Anyway?
The wind farms will be in the area of drilling rigs that also dot the Gulf off the coast of Galveston and will be visible from the beaches. The Biden Administration also opened up additional land in the Gulf for more offshore oil and gas drilling leases.
“Offshore wind has a great potential in Texas,” Brad Jones, President of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas [ERCOT]. “It will take some time to develop, and that time will be based on how quickly we can put together port facilities, the specialized ships that are necessary, and train our labor force to achieve this type of development. It is new for the U.S.”