From earning unanimous approval from state officials in 2014, to achieving full financing in 2015, to putting hundreds of Rhode Islanders to work on the project – including building the first U.S.-flagged offshore wind power crew transfer vessel – to finally putting steel in the water in 2015 to kick off a new energy chapter in America, Deepwater Wind has blazed the trail and created a shining national model for offshore wind development in America. With strong measures in place to protect wildlife including the endangered North Atlantic right whale every step of the way, the Block Island Wind Farm demonstrates that offshore wind development can be compatible with ocean conservation. The National Wildlife Federation proudly points to the success of the Block Island Wind Farm as clear evidence that a truly responsible energy future is possible.
With a new energy policy on the books in Massachusetts equipped to finally launch a robust offshore wind power industry, there is no doubt that the Block Island Wind Farm can be the start of something big. We are witnessing America reach for the incredible clean energy potential off our shores, and now we can begin to catch up with other countries around the world that are 25 years ahead of us in tapping into this booming global industry.
The swift and responsible development of offshore wind power can and must help us onto an energy path that responds to the urgent threat of climate change. Now is the moment for our state leaders along the coast to step confidently onto that path.