Regulators back Block Island
Deepwater Wind’s 30MW Block Island offshore wind pilot project in Rhode Island state waters has cleared a few more hurdles. A five-member Coastal Resources Management Council subcommittee unanimously voted to recommend approval of the five-turbine scheme.
Rhode Island can learn from Europe and have the benefit of “not being on the bleeding edge” of offshore wind energy technology,” said subcommittee member Tony Affigne.
The recommendation now goes to full council for consideration. It will likely be presented to council at the end of April and could be voted on as early as mid-May.
Deepwater plans to install Alstom Haliade 150 6MW turbines (pictured) about three miles off the coast of Block Island with a submarine cable connecting the turbines to the island and mainland.
The US Army Corps of Engineers continues to prepare an environmental assessment on the construction and operation of the project.
In another project milestone, the Rhode Island Division of Public Utilities and Carriers has approved the $9.5m sale of the Block Island transmission facilities to National Grid.
The utility will install the submarine and onshore cables and associated substation and switchyard.
As a condition of the approval National Grid agreed it would not start any transmission construction until Deepwater demonstrates it has started fabrication of the wind turbine jacket foundations.