First U.S. offshore wind project soon to reach the coast of Rhode Island

Wind turbines outside of Copenhagen, via Flickr user Andreas Klinke Johannsen using a Creative Commons license.
First U.S. offshore wind project soon to reach the coast of Rhode Island

This summer, Deepwater Wind plans to put steel in the water to build the first U.S. offshore wind farm. The company announced on Monday that its Block Island Wind Farm is now fully financed – it is the first offshore company in the country to reach this milestone.

The wind farm will be built off the coast of Rhode Island, and manufacturing will occur in part in Louisiana and Rhode Island.

Developing wind power in our oceans has many benefits including:

  • Offshore wind tends to produce more energy at the same times that power demand spikes (cold winter days and nights, as well as hot summer afternoons), which helps keep electricity prices low.
  • Offshore wind can be built close to major population centers with high power demand.
  • National Wildlife Federation president and CEO Collin O’Mara wrote in October 2014 that offshore wind is “critically needed clean energy for wildlife.”

The U.S. Department of Energy will soon release an update to a 2008 report that found that the U.S. could derive 20 percent of its electricity from wind by 2030. The draft “Wind Vision” study projects that this milestone could be achieved in part by the launch of offshore wind in America.



Shauna Theel is the Deputy Director of Digital Media at the American Wind Energy Association. She oversees AWEA's digital media content and strategy, ensuring that the message of clean, affordable, and American wind power is heard loud and clear across media platforms. Prior to joining AWEA, she worked at the watchdog group Media Matters for America for four years. As the Climate and Energy Program Director at Media Matters, she oversaw the group's rapid response communications, long-term research analyses, and outreach efforts related to energy and environmental policy. In this role, she served as the public face of the team, giving interviews to press outlets, and giving presentations everywhere from Capitol Hill to the National Press Club. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of California, Berkeley with a degree in Political Science.

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