Renewable energy: Block Island is a first for US offshore wind power

Denmark's Anholt wind power farm. The United States trails Europe in developing the energy source.
Wikimedia Commons
Denmark's Anholt wind power farm. The United States trails Europe in developing the energy source.

Deepwater Wind's Block Island offshore wind farm is likely to be the first in the nation when it's finished, and it may help the United States catch up with its European counterparts, reports Breaking Energy. (Tweet this)

The 30-megawatt Block Island project, now under construction, is just 18 miles off the coast of Rhode Island. Deepwater Wind has secured more than $290 million in financing, and the farm is slated to be in service by the fourth quarter of 2016.

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Offshore wind farms are common in European waters, but American renewable energy growth has centered on solar power and land-based wind initiatives—both of which generate energy less expensively than turbines over the ocean do.

A worker making the foundations for the Block Island Wind Farm.
Source: Deepwater Wind
A worker making the foundations for the Block Island Wind Farm.

"This is what offshore wind power needs in the United States," the Deepwater CEO said in an interview with Breaking Energy on Monday. "Right now, I don't think we need to come up with a grand strategy to get offshore wind power moving in the United States. We need to build good projects that can show utility companies, regulators and policymakers that this is a real thing, not something theoretical."

While a first for the United States, the project will still be dwarfed by European offshore wind farms. Block Island will generate about 125,000 megawatt hours each year, enough energy to power 17,000 homes, according to a Deepwater Wind spokesperson.

Read the full coverage at Breaking Energy.