Block Island Wind Farm clears last federal hurdle

Authorizes cable from Block Island to mainland
Mon, 11/17/2014 - 8:15pm

Ed. note: The following press release was issued by the U.S. Department of the Interior on Monday, Nov. 17.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan to create American jobs, develop clean energy sources and cut carbon pollution, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Acting Director Walter Cruickshank today announced that BOEM has offered a right-of-way (ROW) grant to Deepwater Wind Block Island Transmission System, LLC (Deepwater Wind) for the Block Island Transmission System (BITS).

“This is a major milestone for offshore renewable energy in the United States,” said Secretary Jewell. “This decision marks the first right-of-way grant offered in federal waters for renewable energy transmission, paving the way for Block Island, the only Rhode Island community not connected to the grid, to have access to clean, affordable renewable energy. Today’s announcement is an exciting development for Block Island, but it also represents a big step in our nation’s sustainable energy future.”

Deepwater Wind’s proposed project would entail the installation of a bi-directional submerged transmission cable between Block Island and the Rhode Island mainland.

The transmission system would serve two purposes: 1) connect Deepwater Wind’s proposed 30 megawatt (MW) Block Island Wind Farm, located in Rhode Island state waters about 2.5 nautical miles southeast of Block Island, to the Rhode Island mainland; and 2) transmit power from the existing onshore transmission grid on the mainland to Block Island. The ROW corridor, which is about eight nautical miles long and 200 feet wide, comprises the portion of the transmission line that crosses federal waters.

“Today’s announcement builds on Interior’s work to stand up a sustainable offshore wind program for the Atlantic Coast,” said Cruickshank.

For the rest of the story, please see this Friday's edition of The Block Island Times.