block island wind farm

'Twas the night before Christmas at the Rhode Island Statehouse and not a creature was stirring or clicking a mouse.

Ryan Caron King / New England News Collaborative

The nation’s first offshore wind farm is officially connected to the electric grid, Deepwater Wind announced today.

Courtesy of INSPIRE Environmental

Fishermen and scientists are trying to understand how the Block Island Wind Farm may affect fish in Rhode Island waters. This week Rhode Island Public Radio’s Ambar Espinoza reported on what we know and don't know yet about the impact of the offshore wind farm on fisheries. She joined Rhode Island Public Radio News Director Elisabeth Harrison for an update on acoustics, marine mammals and wildlife habitats.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The nation’s first offshore wind farm off the coast of Block Island will start producing electricity any day now. It’s a pilot project that will change the way the people on this small island power their homes and businesses. They’ve relied on importing diesel fuel up to this point.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Has little Rhode Island become the center for offshore wind power in the United States? Sure seems like it. The nation’s first offshore wind farm will start operating off Block Island next month. The project drew interest from European visitors recently, and this week, Rhode Island hosted an offshore wind energy conference.

Ryan Caron King / New England News Collaborative

The largest gathering of offshore wind energy experts in the country began in Warwick Tuesday, as the American Wind Energy Association holds its annual offshore wind conference.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The nation’s first offshore wind farm off the coast of Block Island is in the middle of its testing phase. It’ll start producing electricity next month. Delegates from various federal Sea Grant programs around the country got a boat tour of the turbines to learn how the Ocean State got this project done. 

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Four of five turbines that will produce energy off the coast of Block Island later this fall have been completely installed.

If the weather cooperates, the fifth will also be up by the end of the week, said GE Offshore Wind CEO Anders Soe-Jensen during a small media boat tour yesterday of Deepwater Wind's Block Island Wind Farm.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Dozens of ProvPort workers have started to assemble parts for the towers that will make up the Block Island Wind Farm. State officials will tour the manufacturing facility Friday to take a look at the work underway.

Construction work in the ocean ended last fall, but work continues indoor this spring at a temporary manufacturing facility set up by Deepwater Wind and General Electric.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The nonprofit that operates New England’s energy grid and wholesale energy market purchased power this week from two Rhode Island energy projects: Deepwater Wind’s Block Island Wind Farm and Invenergy’s proposed power plant in Burrillville.

The offshore wind farm is scheduled to go online later this year, and the power plant has yet to gain approval from state officials.

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.

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.

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

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.

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