Published on December 13th, 2016 | by Joshua S Hill0
America’s 1st Offshore Wind Farm Begins Generating Electricity
December 13th, 2016 by Joshua S Hill
America’s first offshore wind farm, Deepwater Wind’s Block Island Wind Farm, began generating electricity on Monday, opening the door to what many hope will be a new electricity generating frontier.
The Block Island Wind Farm, located (unsurprisingly) near Block Island, Rhode Island, was developed by Deepwater Wind, the country’s leading (and presumably only) active offshore wind energy developer. The 30 megawatt (MW) project is a small one, no doubt, but it could be the impetus needed for offshore wind energy to be seen as legitimate and cost-efficient electricity generating technology. Block Island is now regularly delivering electricity to New England’s regional grid via National Grid’s new sea2shore submarine transmission cable system.
“Rhode Island is proud to be home to the nation’s first offshore wind farm — and I’m proud to be the only governor in America who can say we have steel in the water and blades spinning over the ocean,” said Rhode Island Governor Gina M. Raimondo.
“As the Ocean State, we’re motivated by our shared belief that we need to produce and consume cleaner, more sustainable energy and leave our kids a healthier planet – but also by this tremendous economic opportunity. With this project, we’ve put hundreds of our local workers to work at-sea and at our world-class ports and are growing this innovative industry. I applaud Deepwater Wind for leading the way.”
It’s been a long road for the Block Island Wind Farm, and it’s been bumpy too, with news earlier this month confirming that one of the wind turbines is not turning — a situation that Deepwater Wind confirmed would not stop the other wind turbines from delivering electricity.
Deepwater Wind is already moving forward with other offshore wind projects, including the 90 MW South Fork Wind Farm being developed off the coast of Montauk, New York, and the recently announced 120 MW Skipjack Wind Farm set to be developed off the coast of Maryland.
“We’ve jumpstarted a new energy industry here in the US, with tremendous support of the Block Island community, state and federal officials, and a number of US supply chain partners who see offshore wind as a new opportunity for their business,” said Deepwater Wind CEO Jeffrey Grybowski. “The Block Island Wind Farm is just the start of a new energy future for the US.”
“This is a triumph for the American worker and U.S. energy independence, and it’s just the beginning,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association. “Offshore wind presents a unique opportunity for additional US ocean energy development. Scaling up will create well-paying American jobs and drive private investment to strengthen our infrastructure.”
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