Good Climate News

Good Climate News this Week: More Vineyard Wind Turbines Come Online, Investments in Rural Energy, Zero-Emissions Ports, and More!

Mar 4, 2024

Every Monday, we round up five of the best good climate news stories we’re celebrating. This week we cover new turbines coming online at Massachusetts’ Vineyard Wind, and the Biden-Harris administration’s investments in public transportation, rural and remote energy, cleaning up Superfund hazardous waste sites, and zero-emissions ports.

1. Massachusetts’ Vineyard Wind now has 5 offshore wind turbines online

 A row of offshore wind turbines.
Credit: davee hughes UK/Getty Images

Vineyard Wind, the nation’s first large-scale offshore wind development located 15 miles off the coast of Massachusetts, now has five turbines supplying power to the state’s grid.

Together, the five turbines can produce 68 megawatts of clean electricity, or enough to power 30,000 homes and businesses. When the development is complete, it will include 62 turbines and generate enough clean energy to power 400,000 homes. The project is expected to create over 3,000 jobs.

Additionally, Vineyard Wind is expected to save Massachusetts customers $1.4 billion on their utility bills and cut 1.6 million metric tons of carbon emissions each year – the equivalent of getting 325,000 cars off the road annually.

Source: WBUR

2. Biden-Harris administration invests nearly $10 billion in transit

A bus drives on a city street.
Credit: Flickr/Aimee Custis Photography.

The Biden-Harris administration has awarded $9.9 billion to improve state and local public transportation systems across the country. The funds are slated for projects ranging from urban bus systems to rural rideshare programs and will benefit communities nationwide.

Utilizing public transportation options instead of relying on single passenger vehicles is safer for passengers, more affordable, and better for the environment.

Source: Greenwire

3. Department of Energy to invest $366 million in remote and rural areas

A group of sheep graze in front of a row of solar panels.
Credit: Ben Turner / Hoosier Energy

The Department of Energy (DOE) has announced it will invest $366 million in 17 energy infrastructure improvement projects in remote and rural areas.

The selected projects, which include installation of microgrids, electric vehicle charging stations, and renewable energy generation and storage, will serve 20 states and 30 tribal nations and communities.

This is one of the first tranches of funding of DOE’s $1 billion Energy Improvements in Rural or Remote Areas program which aims to support energy infrastructure improvement in communities of up to 10,000 people.

Source: Politico Pro

4. EPA releases $1 billion to clean up Superfund hazardous waste sites

Barrels of toxic waste at an EPA Superfund site.
Credit: EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released $1 billion in funding to clean up 110 abandoned hazardous waste sites across the country through its Superfund program.

This funding is the final installment of the $3.5 billion for Superfund cleanup designated by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. To date, this funding has launched clean-up operations at more than 150 sites listed on Superfund National Priorities List.

The toxic waste contaminating these sites from manufacturing, landfills and mining threatens the health of surrounding communities, and this clean-up project is a huge win for public health and safety nationwide. It is also an important pillar of the Justice40 initiative. These sites are typically located in communities of color and low-wealth communities, with one in four Black and Hispanic Americans living within three miles of a Superfund site.

Source: EPA

5. EPA to invest in zero-emissions infrastructure at U.S. ports

A U.S. shipping port in California.
Credit: adamkaz /Getty Images

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has opened two new grant programs, totalling nearly $3 billion, to fund zero-emission equipment and infrastructure at U.S. ports.

Ports have been “hubs of pollution for decades,” according to Ali Zaidi, Assistant to the President and National Climate Advisor, with diesel equipment including ships, trucks, rail, and non-road machinery emitting high concentrations of air pollution. The grant programs, together called the Clean Ports Program, will help create a cleaner, safer environment for both port workers and residents of surrounding communities and will work to advance President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative.

Source: EPA, Axios

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