Block Island Offshore Wind Power Project Steps Closer to Approval

block island wind power project simulated view image© Deepwater Wind

Simulated vision of the completed project, taken from point 1 on the map below.

It could be the United States' first completed offshore wind power project: Deepwater Wind's planned 30 megawatt wind power project off the shores of Block Island, Rhode Island has submitted the final paperwork to get approval from the relevant state and federal permitting agencies, Earth Techling reports.

Permitting is hoped to be completed by the early part of next year, with construction completed and power flowing by 2014. Electricity from the five 6 MW turbines will supply 90% of Block Island's power—currently generated by diesel fuel generators—with the rest going into the grid, via a power purchase agreement from National Grid and an undersea cable.

block island wind power project map © Deepwater Wind

I would cheer the development except for the fact that in 2012 it's entirely tiresome to think that the United States has exactly zero completed offshore wind power projects—when study after study shows that offshore wind power could supply all of the electricity for the East Coast—and to think that the US so trails Europe in the development of offshore wind power that it's ceased being laughable and now is just depressing (and depressingly usual).

Other projects vying to become the US's first offshore wind power project completed: Cape Wind in Massachusetts (of course, and a decade in the making and fighting), one 25 MW project off the coast of New Jersey near Atlantic City, one potential project in Texas, and maybe one freshwater project in Lake Erie.

Block Island Offshore Wind Power Project Steps Closer to Approval
The 30MW project is vying with a handful of others in the US to be the nation's first completed offshore wind farm.

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