"Deepwater Wind has received the final federal approval needed to build the Block Island Wind Farm - a project that remains on-track to be the nation's first offshore wind farm.
The project's lead federal permitting agency, the Army Corps of Engineers, granted its approval Sept. 5. With the Corps’ permit, the Block Island Wind Farm has now been completely reviewed, and approved, by nine state and federal agencies: Army Corps of Engineers, Federal Aviation Administration, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, Coast Guard, Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management and the Rhode Island State Historic Preservation Office.
Deepwater Wind has begun the initial stages of construction on the 30-megawatt wind farm, which will be about 3 miles off the coast of Block Island. Earlier this year, Deepwater Wind selected Alstom as its turbine supplier and long-term maintenance and service provider. Deepwater Wind recently received delivery of its 15 wind turbine blades from Alstom in Denmark.
The U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is reviewing Deepwater Wind's application for a right-of-way in federal waters for the Block Island transmission system, the transmission cable associated with the Block Island Wind Farm. Deepwater Wind said anticipates receiving BOEM’s approval in the coming weeks.
Offshore construction is expected to begin next summer, with the wind farm operational in 2016, according to Deepwater Wind."
Offshore wind farm image via Shutterstock.