When the Interior Department in late August approved construction of a wind farm off the Rhode Island coast, it imposed an unusual restriction on the developer — do not use the most powerful turbines.

The order reflects a critical juncture facing the offshore wind industry, which could provide three times the amount of electricity that the entire U.S. now generates, according to the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

As the Biden administration boosts offshore wind to help meet its climate targets, developers are trying to make wind power inexpensive by installing increasingly large and powerful turbines aimed at improving efficiency.

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