In the U.S. wind power accounts for about five percent of all electricity generation, but a new project aims to change that. A $300 million installation off the coast of Block Island, Rhode Island, takes the renewable energy technology out to sea. Gov. Gina Raimondo anticipates the project is the beginning of a new industry, but some locals are skeptical. While it’s a first for the US, the wind farm is just the next step in Rhode Island’s impressive clean energy policies.
Made up of five turbines, which were built by a division of General Electric are capable of powering about 17,000 homes — it is the first successful offshore wind development in the United States.
According to a spokeswoman for Deepwater Wind, about 90 percent of the island’s needs will be met by the wind-generated power, and more will go back to the grid. Current estimates are that the wind farm will supply 1 percent of the state’s electricity, the spokeswoman said.
Despite its modest size, the wind farm, which cost about $300 million to build, still represents a significant reduction in carbon dioxide emissions — about 40,000 tons per year. Not only is the wind farm producing energy, but also 300+ jobs putting people to work building and maintaining the projects that will power the region’s future.