GoLocalProv Business Team
After years of planning, regulatory hurdles, and construction Deepwater Wind is now online and producing energy.
“Our success here is a testament to the hard work of hundreds of local workers who helped build this historic project, and to the Block Islanders and the thousands more around the U.S. who’ve supported us every step of the way of this amazing journey,” said Deepwater Wind CEO Jeffrey Grybowski.
“America’s first offshore wind farm was built thanks to the ingenuity, innovation, investment, and collaboration of many people working together. These five massive turbines spinning above the ocean are technological marvels and a tribute to the outstanding work of our laborers, trade unions, engineers, and clean energy technicians. I hope that in addition to providing clean, renewable energy, the offshore wind model we’ve put in place here can generate more wind projects and good-paying jobs,” said U.S. Senator Jack Reed, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and cosponsor of the Incentivizing Offshore Wind Power Act.
The Deepwater project was envisioned under Governor Don Carcieri’s tenure.
“This is a triumph for the American worker and U.S. energy independence, and it’s just the beginning,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). “Offshore wind presents a unique opportunity for additional U.S. ocean energy development. Scaling up will create well-paying American jobs and drive private investment to strengthen our infrastructure.”
The immediate impacts of Deepwater Wind’s Block Island Wind Farm are substantial. calims its supporters. “The project now generates enough electricity to supply 17,000 average homes and helps to keep Block Island’s electricity costs down by displacing expensive diesel generators. Local fishermen have reported the newly constructed turbines are already acting as artificial reefs,”
There are additional American offshore wind projects in various stages of development of the East, West and Great Lakes coasts and several of these projects could come online before 2030. The overall offshore wind resource potential in the U.S. is estimated to before times the generating capacity of the entire U.S. electricity grid.
The offshore wind industry cut its teeth in Europe where over 11,000 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind reliably contributes to the electricity supply. To develop offshore wind at scale, the industry will need to employ thousands of U.S. workers to manufacture, construct and service offshore wind farms. There is also need for American factories that will fabricate the huge components of an offshore wind turbine close to where they are needed, U.S. flagged vessels and crews, as well as upgraded port and electric transmission infrastructure.
“We’ve jump started a new energy industry here in the U.S., with tremendous support of the Block Island community, state and federal officials, and a number of U.S. supply chain partners who see offshore wind as a new opportunity for their business,” said Grybowski. “The Block Island Wind Farm is just the start of a new energy future for the U.S.”
The project’s local contractors included: AECOM, Aero Mechanical Inc., AIS Observers, Aladdin Electric, Badd Brothers, Bay Crane New England, Blount Boats, Challenge Electronics, Communication Systems Inc., DiPrete Engineering, Duffy & Shanley, E.W. Audet, Eagle Elevator, ESS Group, Essex Newbury, Fuss & O’Neill, GeoEnvironmental, GZA, Hart Engineering, Hinckley Allen, Inspire Environmental, Keough & Sweeney, Mayforth Group, Meridan Ocean Services, Mott MacDonald, National Grid, Rhode Island Fast Ferry’s Atlantic Wind Transfers, Specialty Diving Services, VHB, and WF Shea, among others.
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