First U.S. Offshore Wind Farm Hits the Water

Aug 3, 2015 4:15 PM ET

First U.S. Offshore Wind Farm Hits the Water

Foundations for the first offshore wind farm in U.S. waters were installed two weeks ago near Block island, 12 miles off the coast of Rhode Island. Since Block Island is unconnected to the mainland power grid, the 1,000 residents and 15,000 summer visitors pay some of the highest energy costs in the country.

Now, The Economist reports that Deepwater Wind, a privately financed company, is spending $250 million to create a wind farm with five turbines, each with a six-megawatt capacity. When it comes online in fall 2016, the facility is projected to cut energy bills by 40 percent and produce much more energy than the island needs. The surplus will be sent back to the mainland grid. Block Island is the pilot program for an American offshore wind industry. If it works as planned, Deepwater will develop a 200-turbine wind farm between Block Island and Martha’s Vineyard. In addition, nine other commercial leases for offshore wind farms along the East Coast have been granted by the Bureau of Ocean Energy management. If built out, the proposed 3,000 turbines could generate enough energy to power New Jersey.

I'm John Howell for 3BL Media.

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