Wind Farm Construction Begins Off Block Island

Jul 22, 2015

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!”

From a hill overlooking the water, Torrey and her husband Ray were thrilled to see a tugboat in the distance pulling two foundations for the Block Island Wind Farm to its site three miles off the coast.

But Edie Blaine, who lives nearly four miles north of the construction site, said she’s not thrilled about the project.

“When I pass that site – that part of the island, I will feel sad,” said Blaine.

Blaine said the five turbines, at nearly 600 feet tall, will ruin a pristine ocean view for energy savings she’s not convinced she will see.

Deepwater Wind CEO Jeff Grybowski said this project is the lynchpin for offshore wind energy in the country.

“Someone needs to be first and someone needs to be successful,” said Grybowski. “And we’re very, very excited that we are in construction of the first offshore wind farm in the United States.”

Grybowski said the wind farm will be fully operational by the end of next year.

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