Southcoast Legislators Head To U.K. To Study Offshore Wind
Westport State Sen. Michael Rodrigues and Speaker Pro Tempore Rep. Patricia Haddad of Somerset will be in the United Kingdom next week to learn more about that country's offshore wind industry.
Rodrigues told WBSM's Barry Richard the U.K. has had an offshore wind industry for more than 15 years and he believes that they can provide a great deal of insight as we begin efforts to launch our own offshore wind projects.
"It's always important to ask 'what have you done right, what have you done wrong, what do you regret not doing in preparing for this industry and what kind of suggestions would you have for us, here in the United States, to get ourselves ready so that we can best prosper from this whole new industry," said Rodrigues.
According to Rodrigues, the United Kingdom is home to 28 operating offshore wind farms that together power 5 GW of energy — equivalent to half the world’s offshore wind capacity — and are on track to double their capacity to 10 GW by 2020.
As we work toward building our own industry Rodrigues says one thing he wants to better determine is the ways in which we can use existing infrastructure, such as the Brayton Point Power Plant, to harness and distribute the energy created by the turbines.
"They have, right there on the shoreline, all this transmission infrastructure, so that as this wind's generated offshore it has to land somewhere, and it has to be connected somewhere through the grid," said Rodrigues "what better place than Brayton Point could there be."
The trip, which was arranged by the British Embassy in Washington DC, will take place Sept. 19-23 and is being fully funded by the British Government.