As many of you know, I believe that wind power driven energy is going to help the U.S. meet its future energy needs. We can argue about how much of a factor it will be going forward. Many are dismissing it because it will have to be heavily subsidized to even get off the ground (no pun intended).

But there are many believers in this country, especially on the East Coast. Deepwater Wind has gotten the green light to go forward with its plan for a five turbine, 30-megawatt project in Rhode Island state waters, the first for the U.S. offshore wind energy industry. Gulf Island Fabricators, Houma, La., is fabricating bases for the turbines, which will be located about 12 miles off the coast of the U.S.’s smallest state, whose Block Island will be the beneficiary of most of the power generated by the offshore wind field.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) recently announced that it will be hosting four public open houses to share the results of a recently completed visualization study on the Outer Continental Shelf offshore Long Island, N.Y., and would like your input on its renewable energy planning efforts in Federal waters. 

During the open houses, panoramic photographs and short videos will be shown that simulate a potential, future offshore wind power project in Federal waters off Long Island under various weather conditions and times of day and night. The simulations were generated from a series of key observation points that were selected in cooperation with the National Park Service and other stakeholders.

The public open houses provide the opportunity for BOEM to receive stakeholder feedback regarding potential viewshed impacts to coastal areas of New York and New Jersey from renewable energy development offshore New York. Public comments will be used by BOEM to inform future planning efforts, including the identification of a New York Wind Energy Area currently being considered off Long Island. For background information about the area currently being considered by BOEM for leasing (the "New York Call Area"), visit BOEM's webpage.

Here are the times and locations for the open houses:

• Monday, June 8 from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m., Floyd Bennett Field, 50 Aviation Road, Brooklyn, NY 11234;

• Tuesday, June 9 from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m., Watch Hill Ferry Terminal, 150 West Ave., Patchogue, NY 11772;

• Wednesday, June 10 from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m., Old Chapel Building, 26 Hudson Ave., Highlands, NJ 07732;

• Thursday, June 11 from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m., Freeport Recreation Center, 130 East Merrick Road, Freeport, NY 11520.

I encourage you to get out there and see what it’s all about. Maybe it’s another step toward U.S. energy independence. What’s wrong with that? 

Ken Hocke has been the senior editor of WorkBoat since 1999. He was the associate editor of WorkBoat from 1997 to 1999. Prior to that, he was the editor of the Daily Shipping Guide, a transportation daily in New Orleans. He has written for other publications including The Times-Picayune. He graduated from Louisiana State University with an arts and sciences degree, with a concentration in English, in 1978.