Smart Planning Leads to America’s First Offshore Wind Farm
CZM program co-led the development of a comprehensive, science-based ocean planning approach that minimizes use conflicts and protects natural resources. The public is reaping big benefits.
The Rhode Island Coastal Management Program co-led the development of a comprehensive, science-based ocean planning approach that works to minimize use conflicts and protect natural resources. The public is reaping big benefits. The state coastal management program approved the Block Island Wind Farm using the streamlined permitting process the plan created. Constructing the wind farm employed 300 local workers and will reduce the island’s electric rates by approximately 40 percent and diversify the state’s power supply.
Offshore wind is increasingly cost-competitive with other types of energy, according to a 2018 analysis by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The market value of electricity generated by offshore wind will soon outstrip its cost in several New England states. And the steel-driven installation of wind farm infrastructure has a big economic impact that is expected to spur tens of thousands of new jobs and billions in future investment. (Original story 2016/ updated 2018)
More Information: Block Island Wind Farm
Partners: Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Program, Ocean Special Area Management Plan, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, and Rhode Island Sea Grant