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.
The state’s management plan that zones offshore waters for renewable energy projects is getting an update. The first public meeting for stakeholders is happening Thursday at the University of Rhode Island.
The Ocean Special Area Management Plan, or SAMP for short, is a planning tool that allows the state to balance both the economy and the environment as it pursues offshore energy projects. It includes about 15-hundred square miles of portions of Block Island Sound, Rhode Island Sound, and the Atlantic Ocean.
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.