Shell obtains approval to proceed with an offshore wind project off the coast of New England


An offshore wind turbine joint venture led by Royal Dutch Shell and Ocean Winds North America has obtained approval to build more offshore wind turbines off the coast of New England, which are expected to generate 400 megawatts.

The new turbines, which are part of the Mayflower Project, will provide power to Massachusetts’ three largest utilities. The energy produced by the newly approved turbines can generate enough electricity to power more than half a million homes and businesses every day, Shell officials said in a statement.

Shell and OW have partnered on two more offshore wind projects, approved in 2019, which are expected to produce 804 megawatts of electricity.

The announcement comes days after the Hague-based energy company announced plans to acquire solar storage and battery company Savion by the end of the year. The Kansas City-based company has more than 100 projects under development in 26 states capable of producing 18,000 megawatts of renewable energy. One megawatt is enough to power around 200 homes on a hot summer day.

“This week has been an important one for our business and our renewable energy activities,” said Wael Sawan, director of integrated solutions for gas, renewables and energy at Shell. “The announcement of a substantial expansion of our global solar portfolio as well as the award of this significant contract for offshore wind shows Shell’s progress towards delivering zero and low carbon assets and technologies. . “

The offshore wind company marks the latest breakthrough as Shell shifts away from its fossil fuel business and expands its renewable energy portfolio. The company is committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050 as it faces increasing pressure from investors and government to decarbonize. The company said it would invest up to $ 6 billion a year in renewable energy, while divesting about $ 4 billion a year from its oil and gas projects.

To this end, the company has set a goal of selling more than 560 terawatt-hours of electricity per year globally by 2030.

Offshore wind, however, remains an illusory technology.

Only two offshore wind farms are in operation in the United States, together producing 42 megawatts. Another 15 projects have reached the authorization phase, and eight states have set a goal of developing enough offshore activities to produce 39,298 megawatts by 2040, according to the US Department of Energy. The Biden administration has set itself a goal of helping develop 30,000 megawatts of offshore wind generation by 2030.

Despite these goals, challenges remain for the booming industry. Offshore wind turbines still face the major stress test of tropical storms, hurricanes and cyclones and the construction of submarine transmission lines from wind turbines to shore is also a challenge.

Paul Takahashi contributed to this report.

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