U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Deepwater Wind to Build Rhode Island Off-Shore Wind Plant
October 1, 2008
Rhode Island's off-shore wind project will install wind turbines in the ocean, much like these off the coast of Arklow, Ireland.
Rhode Island Governor Donald L. Carcieri announced on September 25 that
Deepwater Wind will construct a wind energy project that is projected
to provide 15% of all electricity used annually in the state—about
1.3 million megawatt hours. The project, expected to cost $1 billion
to construct and funded by private investments, will be built off the
shore of Rhode Island. The exact location is still being determined.
Deepwater Wind will also construct a regional manufacturing facility
in Quonset, Rhode Island, which will serve the entire northeast with
support structures for wind turbines and towers. The facility is
expected to create up to 800 jobs. Rhode Island and Deepwater Wind are
entering formal negotiations, and final approval of the projects is
subject to state and federal regulatory approvals. See the press
release from the Rhode Island Government.
As this and other wind projects are built across the country, the
environmental, social, and economic effects of such projects are of
increasing concern. To address these concerns in areas including Iowa,
Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota, the
Western Area Power Administration and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service are preparing a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement
(PEIS). The PEIS will evaluate concerns, identify mitigation
strategies, establish best practices for construction and management,
and create a program for evaluating the environmental impact of future
projects. Public meetings to gather comments will be held in Sioux
Falls, South Dakota on September 30 (prior to publication of this
story); Bismarck, North Dakota, on October 1; and Billings, Montana,
on October 2. See the Western Area Power Administration press release.