New federal proposal for large wind farms could produce hundreds of job, officials say

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Saturday, July 23, 2022
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The proposal presented by the Biden administration would allow the wind farms to generate power for over 2.3 million homes for the offshore project in Texas.

GALVESTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A new massive wind farm proposal could generate a lot of power and potentially take up a lot of space near Galveston Island.

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PROPOSES A WIND FARM NEAR GALVESTON THAT WOULD BE BIGGER THAN THE SIZE OF HOUSTON

This week, the Biden administration presented a proposal to build two offshore projects. One near Louisiana and the other near Texas.

The Texas location would be 14 nautical miles away from Galveston. It would be 546,645 acres, which is more than Houston, which is 425,600 acres.

"That's pretty big," Houston resident Clinton Thomas said. "I don't know what to say about that. That's just massive."

Government officials said the project located near Texas could generate power for 2.3 million homes.

"Considering all the emails, we're getting from our energy providers saying that we need to conserve energy," Houston resident Francisco Ramirez said. "Maybe this will be beneficial."

A PROJECT LOCAL ENERGY EXPERTS HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR

While parts of Europe utilize offshore wind, the United States still lags. Rice University's Baker Institute energy fellow, Jim Krane, said these projects could help boost renewable energy.

"Climate change is with us now," Krane explained. "It would've been nice to have been further along and cleaning up the power grid here in Texas, but it's better late than never."

But be reminded, this is not a done deal. It is only a proposal.

The government said it spends $30 million a year looking at the environmental impact of offshore projects. It wants to talk to fishers and study its ecological effects on the gulf.

To make it happen, the construction of special ships needs to happen. A turbine installation vessel is under construction in Brownsville and is expected to be completed next year.

OFFSHORE WIND WOULD BLOW IN MORE THAN POWER TO TEXAS

The White House estimates that offshore wind projects will create 80,000 jobs by 2030. Positions are used to install, make, and maintain the turbines.

Skills energy experts said it can be found in Houston's workforce. "I would expect workers with experience with offshore oil and gas migrating between these industries, probably back and forth between them," Krane said.

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