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Building the Block Island Wind Farm

随着越来越多的国家接受可持续能源目标, the US is increasingly turning to alternative energy options to pursue its green transition. 作为这一推动的一部分, Craig Brown G’11 helped pioneer the first-ever offshore wind farm along the American coastline.

In 2015, 五个重量超过100万磅的大型定制钢平台被装载到路易斯安那州南部的远洋驳船上. 这些建筑物正在海上加固以防止1级地震,000-mile journey via the US Gulf of Mexico to the northeastern seaboard, 它们将被安装在离罗德岛海岸3英里远、100多英尺深的大西洋中. 它们是专门设计的,用于支持600多英尺高的海上风力涡轮机,并被设计成能够承受飓风的风力和海浪. 这些涡轮机将包括一个30兆瓦的海上风力发电场——布洛克岛风力发电场——这是美国历史上的第一个. 在许多方面, 这次活动是, for me, 这是六年前出乎意料地发生的人生轨迹变化的顶点——这一变化让我来到了新萄京正规网站.

Despite being told my bachelor’s in economics was a safe bet with good career prospects, it was clear back in 2008 that the floor was falling out from under me. 我经常回想起那一刻, 坐在我的办公桌前, I observed the stock ticker at the bottom of my computer screen start flashing red. It was signaling what was at the time the largest stock point drop in US history. I was in the undesirable position of being employed by a major banking and insurance company. Fresh out of my undergraduate degree and working in my first role, 我刚重新签了公寓租约,就清楚地意识到我很可能会失业.

在我经历了金融危机之后, it was a good time to re-evaluate and change course away from my undergraduate studies. 我被新萄京正规网站的国际事务硕士学位所吸引, 我诚实地评估了自己的核心兴趣:我想在国际环境中工作, 生活在不同的文化中,体验不同的文化, 建立桥梁——无论是政治上的, social, 商业或经济-国家之间. 幸运的是,在第一学期的早期,我就对全球能源的复杂性产生了兴趣. Flexible courses allowed me to analyze major energy issues such as Russian–European gas relations, the social aspects of resource conflicts in Africa or the politics of climate treaties. The energy sector is the perfect industry for a student of international affairs. Following this path led me to a career in an industry I find dynamic, 有趣且具有全球性的规模和影响. 更重要的是, I had the pleasure of working on an innovative project with the potential to usher in long-term change.

由一家名为“深水风”的公司开发,现在由丹麦能源公司Ørsted拥有和运营, the Block Island Wind Farm provides carbon-free electricity to nearly 17,000户家庭. 作为Keystone工程公司一个小团队的一员,我非常幸运地参与了这个开创性的项目. 我在公司的商业部门工作, 帮助建立欧洲和美国服务公司之间的桥梁,处理供应链上的所有业务,以确保项目的工程和施工要素的高效执行. 尽管布洛克岛的规模只是欧洲自20世纪90年代以来建造的海上风力发电场的一小部分, 它的意义是巨大的. Its development heralded the dawn of a promising new US renewable energy industry. 麻萨诸塞州, New York, New Jersey and Maryland will all see offshore wind farms installed within the next five years. Policy makers have touted these projects as vital to meeting states’ renewable energy targets.

这条道路一点也不平坦. There have been several high-profile setbacks over the course of nearly a decade, attributed to a myriad of factors: uneven policy support from state and federal policy makers, 合同出错, 成本超支,埋没了项目, 举几个例子. Launching the industry has been an ongoing exercise in navigating state and federal regulations, 同时也解决了前所未有的技术问题, economic, 环境和后勤方面的挑战. 美国缺乏足够的港口基础设施来有效管理大型海上风力组件的运输, and investors have been reluctant to fund new port facilities at the early stages of the industry. 它需要几项国际合作和持续的知识转移,才能使新萄京正规网站达到今天的水平.

尽管有这些最初的挫折, 布洛克岛风电场的成功, 再加上各州积极的可再生能源目标, has recently attracted the attention of some of the world’s largest energy companies. 欧洲主要的石油和天然气公司,如壳牌和Equinor, 以及公用事业,如Électricité de France和Ørsted, 现在是美国市场的主要参与者, seeking to work with the emerging US industry and policy makers.

The future of offshore wind power in the United States is looking brighter than ever. 这也是我每年秋天回到新萄京正规网站教授《新萄京正规网站》和可持续能源政策研究生课程的原因之一. It is a pleasure to have the opportunity to meet other graduate students with an interest in renewable energy; it is fascinating to hear what brought them to where they are today and to hear about their post-新萄京正规网站 ambitions. 我继续我的职业生涯, 我希望发表更多新萄京正规网站全球可再生能源市场和技术的研究分析和论文. I am also excited to work on new renewable energy projects in small-sized and emerging markets; currently, 我正在进行开创性的技术和经济可行性研究,以便在加勒比地区建立第一轮海上风力发电场.

文章来自Craig Brown G’11

This article appeared in the Fall 2019 Issue of the 新萄京正规网站 Magazine