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article imageFirst U.S. offshore wind farm flips the switch on in Rhode Island

By Karen Graham     Dec 12, 2016 in Environment
Block Island - The renewable energy industry in the United States just got a huge boost on Monday when Rhode Island's Block Island offshore Wind Farm flipped the switch on and began producing energy-efficient wind power to 17,000 homes.
It was a momentous and historic occasion on Monday when the first offshore wind project in the country, Block Island Wind Farm, began producing clean, pollution-free power to Block Island, located 13-miles south of the Rhode Island mainland.
General Electric subsidiary, GE Power and Deepwater Wind, a developer of offshore turbines, partnered together to build five massive wind turbines 3.8 miles off the coast of Block Island to provide power to the 17,000 homes on the island. The project cost $300 million. The wind farm is also expected to reduce electricity costs on the island by 40 percent while creating 300 jobs.
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Deepwater Wind
The Block Island Wind Farm will generate about 30 megawatts of energy, Eric Crucerey, the farm's project manager, tells Business Insider. The wind farm will emit 40,000 fewer tons of greenhouse gasses per year than fossil fuels, the equivalent of taking 150,000 cars off the road.
The blades for the turbines used at the Block Island Wind Farm came from Denmark  and special tracto...
The blades for the turbines used at the Block Island Wind Farm came from Denmark, and special tractor-trailers were needed that could support their weight. Here's one zipping down a Danish highway.
Deepwater Wind
Crucerey also says each 400-ton nacelle (the turbine's generator) is about the size of a school bus. From the base of each turbine to the tip of the 27-ton blade, the turbines stretch to twice the height of the Statue of Liberty. A GE facility in St. Nazaire, France made the nacelles and they were shipped to Rhode Island by boat.
The top end of the wind turbine before the blades are attached.
The top end of the wind turbine before the blades are attached.
Deepwater Wind
"The United States has finally tapped into the tremendous resource of offshore wind," said Bronte Payne, Clean Energy Associate with Environment America. "The Block Island Wind Farm and Deepwater Wind have led the way on offshore wind and shown a path forward toward a clean energy future."
800-ton yellow cranes positioned the blades and nacelles onto the towers. The ship that carried all ...
800-ton yellow cranes positioned the blades and nacelles onto the towers. The ship that carried all the parts was hoisted up above the water.
Deepwater Wind
And while the United States lags behind Europe and Asia in offshore wind projects, the completion of the Block Island Wind Farm signals a breakthrough in the wind farm industry. New York and Massachusetts have expressed a lot of interest in offshore wind energy and Deepwater Wind is negotiating with a utility in New York to build a 15-turbine wind farm off eastern Long Island.
More about offshore wind farm, block island, Rhode island, first US offshore project, renewable energy industry
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