One of many United Kingdom offshore wind farms (credit: London Array Limited)
One of many United Kingdom offshore wind farms (credit: London Array Limited)
2015 will be the year the United States begins constructing its first offshore wind turbines. This major milestone will set the stage for the largest and most scalable clean energy source waiting untapped right next to some of this country’s largest metropolitan regions, such as New York City, Boston and their surrounding suburbs.

“NWF is jazzed having spent six years advocating for appropriately sited, wildlife-friendly, offshore wind in the Atlantic Ocean, to see Rhode Island’s Block Island project move toward construction,” stated Curtis Fisher, NWF Northeast Regional Executive Director. “The Block Island project will set the stage for much larger scale projects in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey that will bring clean energy to power our businesses and homes.”

The Providence-based Deepwater Wind made history yesterday, announcing that its Block Island Wind Farm is now fully financed. After securing all necessary permitting for the project last year, financial close was the final hurdle the company needed to cross to maintain its goal of beginning construction this year.

“We are on the cusp of bringing offshore wind from theory to reality in the U.S. We’re incredibly proud of our position at the forefront of the U.S. offshore wind industry. We’ve brought together some of the best American and European expertise to build an outstanding project and finance team. We’re poised to launch a new American clean-tech industry, and it all starts here with our work on the Block Island Wind Farm.”

–         Deepwater Wind CEO Jeffrey Grybowski

For two decades, Europe has advanced offshore wind power into the massive clean energy industry it is today, supporting 70,000 jobs, improving local air and water quality, and protecting ratepayers from the volatility of the fossil fuel market. Here in the U.S., our businesses, our residents, our wildlife, and our landscapes have yet to benefit from the potential of our own massive clean energy resource. Deepwater Wind is finally going to change that, by building five 6-megawatt turbines that will show coastal community members just what they’ve been missing out on. Block Islanders will shift from reliance on the one million gallons of diesel, trucked on ferry to the island’s generator every year. Their offshore wind farm will harness the inescapably strong wind the island is known for, and will decrease electric rates for homes and businesses by more than forty percent.

Yesterday’s announcement marks a new reality for America, and for what our energy future can be. Block Island’s five offshore wind turbines will be fully operational by the end of 2016, at which point they will show state leaders along the coast, and those on Capitol Hill, that we have been neglecting to reap the rewards of an abundant, pollution-free power source that is well within reach using current advanced technology, and can protect coastal and marine wildlife and habitats every step of the way. This is the start of a long-awaited celebration of our home-grown offshore wind resource. Wildlife and future generations are counting on us to start here and ramp up quickly, seizing the inexhaustible clean energy opportunity over our horizon. Now, we are one major step closer.

Tweet: Join @NWF in celebrating @DeepwaterWind for fully financing the 1st US Offshore Wind project! We're one step closer to a clean energy future Join @NWF in celebrating @DeepwaterWind for fully financing the 1st US Offshore Wind project! We’re one step closer to a clean energy future