deepwater wind

Courtesy of David Delpoio / Deepwater Wind

The first batch of equipment for the Block Island Wind Farm towers will arrive by ship this week. The towers will be assembled at the Port of Providence.

Hurricane Joaquin blows toward Rhode Island as the state remains vexed by its own ring of challenges: the hangover of 38 Studios, trying to modernize state agencies, financially troubled fire districts, you name it. Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As always your tips and thoughts are welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The lead federal agency involved in the Block Island Wind Farm has embarked on a five-year study to examine the project’s environmental impact.

Deepwater Wind is still on schedule to complete the first construction phase of the Block Island Wind Farm, despite issues related to equipment reliability and worker safety. Contractors have about one more month of construction to go, according to Grover Fugate, the executive director of the Coastal Resources Management Council.

Fugate said Deepwater Wind has gotten its contractors to implement safety recommendations and replace inadequate equipment for choppy ocean conditions.

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for our weekly business segment The Bottom Line.  

Our guest this week is Rhode Island Energy Commissioner Marion Gold. She discusses a controversial plan to open a natural gas plant in northern Rhode Island, and what the future may hold for renewable energy and energy prices.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Deepwater Wind has installed the first of five steel foundations for a wind farm that will sit three miles off the coast of Block Island. The project is expected to produce enough energy to power 17,000 homes. State and federal officials got an up-close look at construction for the first time yesterday. Rhode Island Public Radio environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza was with them, and she reports that Rhode Island has become an example for how to build renewable energy. 

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Deepwater Wind installed the first foundation over the weekend for what is slated to be the first offshore wind farm in the country. Monday morning the company took state and federal officials on a boat trip to see the barge, cranes, and foundations up close.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Federal and state officials take a boat trip this morning to check out the start of construction on Deepwater Wind’s Block Island Wind Farm. The project has broad support from environmental groups, fishermen, the Narragansett tribe, and others. But it’s a point of contention for Block Island residents.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Deepwater Wind started to put steel in the water this week for the Block Island Wind Farm. Island residents have mixed feelings about the construction.  

Susan Torrey lives on Block Island all year. She and her husband have been waiting to see visible signs of what is expected to be the nation’s first offshore wind farm.

“We kept looking around and hadn’t seen anything,” said Torrey. “And he came home [and said], ‘Guess what I saw?’ So we said, ‘Let’s go over to the Southeast Light and take a look.’ So we did!”

RIPR FILE

Deepwater Wind has entered into a 20 year contract with Rhode Island Fast Ferry out of North Kingstown. The ferry service will provide a vessel to help conduct maintenance on the Block Island wind farm which will be built by Deepwater Wind. The boat will be built by Blount Boats from Warren.

Jeff Grybowski, the CEO of Deepwater Wind said the contract will create some eighty jobs in Rhode Island.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Welders have started to build parts for a wind energy facility off the coast of Block Island. It’s on track to be the country’s first offshore wind farm.  State leaders were on hand for the start of construction today (Monday). Rhode Island Public Radio’s environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza says they are calling it a great day for Rhode Island and the nation.

RIPR FILE

Gov. Gina Raimondo and members of the Rhode Island Congressional delegation will meet with Deepwater Wind in Quonset Point today to announce local jobs associated with the construction of the Block Island Wind Farm. They'll also provide an outlook for growing this new industry in the state. 

They’ll tour Specialty Diving Services, where local welders are working on some of the components for the wind farm’s foundation. This local company is working as a sub-contractor for a company in Louisiana that is leading the construction of the wind farm’s steel jacket foundations. 

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for our weekly business segment The Bottom Line.

This week Dave and Mark get an update on the Block Island Wind Farm project with Deepwater Wind CEO Jeff Grybowski.

When to Listen

You can hear The Bottom Line each Friday at 5:50pm.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you. news@ripr.org  

RIPR FILE

Deepwater Wind has secured more than 290 million dollars to build and operate a wind farm off the coast of Block Island. The company plans to begin installing turbines this summer. Deepwater is, so far, the only offshore wind company in the country to get full financing for an offshore wind farm.

                                    

Two banks have financed Deepwater Wind’s offshore wind farm: a bank in France and Ohio-based KeyBank.

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for our weekly business segment The Bottom Line.

This week, news director Catherine Welch and Mark talk with managing director of the Quonset Development Corp, Steven King. They talk about the future growth of Electric Boat, new companies moving into the business park, and the role of the Quonset state airport.

When to Listen

You can hear The Bottom Line each Friday at 5:50pm.

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