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Rhode Island opens first U.S. offshore wind farm

Three nautical miles off the coast of Rhode Island sits the Block Island Wind Farm, the very first U.S. offshore wind farm to supply energy to the American power grid. Operated by the wind energy group Deepwater Wind, the Block Island Wind Farm will be plugged into the New England power grid thanks to National Grid’s sea-to-shore submarine transmission cable system.

“We’ve made history here in the Ocean State, but our work is far from over,” Deepwater Wind CEO Jeff Grybowski said. “We’re more confident than ever that this is just the start of a new U.S. renewable energy industry that will put thousands of Americans to work and power communities up and down the East Coast for decades to come.”

“Rhode Island is proud to be home to the nation’s first offshore wind farm – and I’m proud to be the only governor in America who can say we have steel in the water and blades spinning over the ocean,” said Rhode Island Gov. Gina M. Raimondo.

The new Block Island Wind Farm consists of five Haliade 150 MW wind turbines measuring 600 feet above the water, twice the height of the Statue of Liberty. The turbines were built by Alstom, a recently acquired division of General Electric. The project cost roughly $300 million and took two years to complete.

According to the U.S. Department of the Interior, the Block Island Wind Farm will generate more than 100 kilowatt hours of clean energy each year, enough to power 17,000 homes.

The big launch marks a major milestone for generating clean, renewable power offshore and reducing dependence on fossil fuels.

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