Wind turbine as part of the nation’s first offshore wind farm off of Block Island. Photo credit: Rhode Island Sea Grant
A growing global market for clean energy and an abundance of offshore wind off the East Coast has prompted developers to seek permits to capitalize on this budding offshore industry. Rhode Island Sea Grant extension staff helped facilitate the Ocean Special Area Management Plan that laid the groundwork for siting and permitting the nation’s first offshore wind farm off of Block Island, which has been a jumping off point for the developer, Deepwater Wind, in securing new contracts. With the successful installment of the Block Island wind farm and a growing market for offshore wind development, Deepwater Wind won a $740 million contract by the state of New York to construct a 15-turbine, 90-megawatt offshore wind farm 30 miles off the coast of Montauk intended to generate enough energy to power 50,000 homes on Long Island’s South Fork.