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.
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.
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.