In a startling move, Norwegian state-owned oil and gas company Statoil recently pulled all its investments out of the Alberta tar sands after winning a contract to develop an offshore wind farm in U.S. waters. CleanTechnica reports the company began selling off its tar sands assets almost within hours of learning earlier this month it had won the right to build a wind farm off the coast of New York State.



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According to CleanTechnica, the opportunity to develop the wind facility and provide power so close to New York City made the clean energy project a high-visibility, and thus high-status venture for Statoil. Winning the project was not easy, as the bid process was “intense,” but Statoil’s triumph means they’re part of a new coordinated program to develop a series of wind farms off the Atlantic coast. The project is just one of 11 offshore areas leased for development by the Department of the Interior, through its Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

Related: The world’s largest floating wind farm will be operational next year

CleanTechnica notes that much of the 3000 miles of ocean along America’s Eastern Seaboard is perfect for renewable energy development for several reasons. The relatively shallow waters of the Continental Shelf make building easier, while the proximity to major population centers all along the way make accessing markets a breeze. Add to that the fact that hot southern states are in dire need of affordable energy to power air conditioners, and you’ve got a recipe for strong demand for power.

While they might have taken a step in the right direction by dropping dirty tar sands oil, Statoil’s hands are still far from clean. It recently invested in oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, and has some questionable shale gas assets in the U.S. – including some in the Bakken play, the planned origin for the now-stalled Dakota Access Pipeline.

Via Clean Technica

Images via Parrot of Doom and Barrow Offshore Wind Turbines, Wikimedia Commons