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Power up! America’s first offshore wind farm switches on

It’d been a long time coming but the United States finally has a functioning offshore wind farm. Built off Block Island by Rhode Island-based company Deepwater Wind, the wind farm has a capacity of 30 megawatts. It’s expected to generate 90 percent of the energy demand for Block Island as well as supplying electricity for residents on the mainland through the National Grid’s sea2shore underwater transmission cable system.

“Rhode Island is proud to be home to the nation’s first offshore wind farm — and I’m proud to be the only governor in America who can say we have steel in the water and blades spinning over the ocean,” Rhode Island Governor Gina M. Raimondo said in a press release.

After nearly two years of development, the Block Island Wind Farm’s five turbines were completed earlier this year, at which point General Electric Renewable Energy Technicians began a four-month testing phase. Deepwater Wind announced yesterday that the commissioning and testing phases were complete and the farm has begun providing energy to the New England grid.

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“Our success here is a testament to the hard work of hundreds of local workers who helped build this historic project, and to the Block Islanders and the thousands more around the U.S. who’ve supported us every step of the way of this amazing journey,” said Deepwater Wind CEO Jeffrey Grybowski.

Deepwater Wind is now looking toward further opportunities involving the sea with Garden State Offshore Energy in New Jersey and Deepwater One, a plan to erect 200 turbines off the coast of Rhode Island, which would provide 1,000 megawatts of electricity to Long Island, New York.