More approvals rolled in this week for the five-turbine wind farm Deepwater Wind. And the company says it has secured the last of its permits for the offshore wind farm planned for three miles off the coast of Block Island. Construction is set to start next year.
The Coastal Resources Management Council has approved the lease agreement for the underwater land on which the wind farm will sit. The lease took effect earlier this month and will be valid for 25 years from the wind farm’s start date.
Federal regulators have cleared the way for a transmission cable linking Block Island to Rhode Island’s mainland. It's big step forward for Deepwater Wind’s offshore wind farm.
The decision for the “right-of-way grant” marks a major milestone – not just for the Block Island Wind Farm project itself – but also for offshore renewable energy in the United States. The cable, which would cross federal waters, would do two things: connect Block Island to the ocean wind farm 3 miles off the island’s coast, and transmit energy between the mainland and the island.
The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management has granted Deepwater Wind its first set of major permit approvals for the Block Island Wind Farm. This marks a significant milestone for the project.
The DEM has deemed the wind farm and underwater transmission cable in compliance with state and federal water quality regulations. So it issued the company Water Quality Certificates. The DEM also issued a Freshwater Wetland permit for certain onshore construction activities.
Deepwater Wind has selected a Norwegian company to carry and install the turbines for the Block Island offshore wind farm project. This is the second contract Deepwater has awarded recently.
The Norwegian company, Fred. Olsen Windcarrier, is supplying what’s called a liftboat to install the wind turbines. The liftboat, called the Bold Tern, has a large open deck and cranes robust enough to manage the weight and size of a wind turbine while at sea.
The Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council says it does not object with the wind farm projects off Block Island proposed by developer Deepwater Wind.
Four CRMC staff members shared this position, along with 17 recommended stipulations, in a 53-page staff report earlier this week in advance of a public hearing on the project’s permit application next week.
Deepwater Wind is looking for a new location to connect its offshore wind farm to the mainland. The original plan was to run a line from its Block Island wind farm to Narragansett’s Town Beach.
Residents complained about the plan, and the town council voted to suspend talks with Deepwater back in May. Deepwater Wind insisted that the lines would be buried ten feet underground. After meeting with residents back in June, Deepwater Wind CEO Jeff Grybowski withdrew an application request on Friday.