2015-07-27. Offshore wind power gets foothold in U.S. with Rhode Island project.

posted Aug 6, 2015, 8:10 PM by Alan Gould   [ updated Aug 6, 2015, 8:14 PM ]
By Richard Valdmanis, Reuters. For GSS Energy Use chapter 10. Excerpt: Rhode Island's Deepwater Wind will start installing the foundations for North America's first offshore wind farm on Monday, a milestone the company says could pave the way for an industry long established in Europe but that is still struggling with opposition in the United States. The 30-megawatt wind farm, which will include five turbines located three miles (4.8 km) off the coast of the bucolic summer tourist destination of Block Island, will take more than a year to build and is scheduled to produce electricity for the tiny island community and the mainland by the end of next year. ...Offshore wind projects have been delivering power in Europe since the 1990s, with nearly 2,500 turbines connected to the grid, but they have struggled to gain a foothold in the United States due to worries about cost, the aesthetics of towering wind turbines within view from the coasts, and the impact on birds and whales. ...Block Island was chosen as a wind power site by the state in 2007 in part as a solution to the island's own energy woes: it's 1,000 residents have for years relied on costly diesel-fired generators for electricity. Once the wind farm starts up, prices will drop 40 percent, according to a study by the Block Island Utility Task Group. But about 90 percent of the wind farm's power will be shipped to Rhode Island's mainland via an undersea cable where utility National Grid will buy it for 26 cents/kwh and mix it into the rest of the state's supply, which generally ranges between 6 and 10 cents/kwh.... http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/07/27/uk-usa-windfarm-deepwater-idUSKCN0Q113020150727 -- See also Europe's offshore wind hits record yearly high with six months still to go (The Guardian)