offshore wind energy

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 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!”

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.


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, Dave and Mark talk with Scott DePasquale, Chairman and CEO of Providence-based global software company Utilidata. The company is partnering with Siemens to put voltage regulation software made by Utilidata into power grids. They discuss how more efficient power grids mean smaller power bills and the upside to having a global company in Rhode Island.

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Catherine Welch / RIPR

The Interior Department's Bureau of Ocean Energy Managment auctioned off two out of four wind development areas off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard today for potential wind energy development. Twelve companies were eligible to place bids, but only two took part in the auction.

The two companies are RES Americas, a company headquartered in the UK, and OffshoreMW, the sister company of a German wind energy developer. They have secured provisional leases to build offshore wind farms off the coast of Massachusetts, south of Martha’s Vineyard.

RIPR File Photo

The Block Island offshore wind farm will produce more power than originally expected, said Deepwater Wind CEO Jeff Grybowski at an open meeting before the state's Public Utilities Commission. The company expected the wind farm to produce 40 percent of its total maximum power. But since the company proposed the project, advances in turbine technology have bumped up the wind farm’s projected efficiency.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

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.

Local tradesmen and women will build some of the foundation parts of the Block Island ocean wind farm, which is slated for construction next year. This is the first round local jobs Deepwater Wind expects to create from the project.

Rhode Island and Massachusetts are leaders among East Coast states in the race to advance offshore wind energy development. That’s according to a new report from the National Wildlife Federation.

These two states are the only ones that have secured a combination of necessary contracts, leases, and permits to build offshore wind farms. The report points to budding large-scale projects from offshore developers Deepwater Wind and Cape Wind. Construction for these projects, including the Block Island Wind Farm, is set to begin next year.


The Coastal Resources Management Council will discuss a subcommittee’s recommendation to approve Deepwater Wind’s proposed Block Island Wind Farm Tuesday. This may be another big vote for the project.


A subcommittee of the Coastal Resources Management Council has unanimously recommended approving a proposed offshore wind farm off the coast of Block Island.  

The subcommittee’s official recommendation will be read at a council meeting within the next 30 days, and then scheduled for a full committee vote. The subcommittee’s recommendation holds a lot of weight, according to Laura Dwyer, information coordinator for the Coastal Resources Management Council.


A subcommittee of the Coastal Resources Management Council will take another step in the permitting process for a proposed offshore wind farm in state waters, when it decides next week whether to recommend approval for the project. 

Bradley Campbell / RIPR

A subcommittee of the Coastal Resources Management Council set the final public hearing to discuss Deepwater Wind’s proposed ocean wind farm for today. 

The subcommittee in charge of these hearings has set aside six hours for public comments.  They may also ask Deepwater Wind some final questions to help them decide whether to recommend the project to the CRMC for approval.

The full council will consider these hearings, the subcommittee’s recommendation, and staff report before it votes on the project.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

A subcommittee of the Coastal Resources Management Council will hold another hearing today on Deepwater Wind's permit application to build a wind farm off the coast of Block Island.

This is the second of three scheduled hearings this month.