Rhode Island Utility Commission Approves Block Island Wind Farm (USA)

Deepwater Wind’s efforts to build an offshore wind farm off the coast of Rhode Island have received a boost following the approval by the Public Utilities Commission of its power purchase agreement (PPA) with National Grid.

The Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission has approved a power purchase plan for a wind farm off the coast of Block Island, clearing the way for more offshore wind in the U.S.

The commission has approved an agreement for National Grid, the state’s largest utility, to purchase energy from the wind farm for 24.4 cents/kWh over 20 years. The utility has also agreed to purchase half of the power produced by the much larger Cape Wind project, at a lower rate of 18.7 cents/kWh.

The Block Island wind farm will be an eight-turbine pilot project that will include a transmission cable to connect it to the island and the mainland. The wind farm will provide most of the power for the island with excess power being fed to the mainland grid. The island has been relying on diesel generators for electricity, which are not only dirty, but expensive. This new wind farm will greatly reduce the cost of electricity for island residents.

Construction will begin late this year and completed in 2012.

After the Block Island project is installed, the state has plans for a larger, 100-turbine project in the Rhode Island Sound.



Source: dwwind, August 13, 2010