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Friday, May 16, 2014

Deepwater advances

Block Island Wind Farm Advances to be First in RI, First in Nation

Jeff Grybowski, CEO of Deepwater Wind celebrates a moment of victory with DWW counsel, Robin L. Maine on Tuesday night.  (Photo Tracey C. O'Neill/Freelance Photographer)
Jeff Grybowski, CEO of Deepwater Wind celebrates a moment of
victory with DWW counsel, Robin L. Main on Tuesday night.
(Photo Tracey C. O’Neill/Freelance Photographer)
Providence, RI - In a unanimous vote on Tuesday evening, the Coastal Resources Management Council adopted and approved subcommittee recommendations advancing  Deepwater Wind‘s 30-megawatt Block Island Wind Farm to design and development phase.

An unprecedented project, the five turbine demonstration project wind farm is slated to be the first offshore wind farm built in Rhode Island territorial waters and the very first offshore wind farm in the U.S. “It’s a momentous night for Rhode Island,”  said Jeffrey Grybowski, CEO of Deepwater Wind. “[Rhode Island] is going to be the first.”

Passing what Grybowski called “a critical stage” in the permitting process, the renewable energy project also received the go ahead from the state Department of Environmental Management, who on May 8 issued required water quality permits and a Freshwater Wetlands permit for onshore activities.

According to Ronald Gagnon, DEM’s Chief, Office of Technical and Customer Assistance, Deepwater’s receipt of the DEM permits was a step in satisfying the CRMC stipulation for acquiring all necessary state project permitting. The DEM permitting further allowed for the landing of the projects underwater transmission cable at Scarborough State Beach. The subterranean cable is planned for burial in a location on the state property where a current utility easement exists.

Applause, handshakes and congratulations

Upon receiving the vote among a chorus of ayes, with nary a nay uttered, the hearing room on Capitol Hill broke into applause and an immediate cacophony of congratulations. Absorbing the news in what was clearly a celebratory atmosphere, Grybowski took the time to personally thank each member of the full council, some who had been involved in the process since its inception and had also worked on developing the Ocean Special Area Management Plan (OSAMP).

For the rest of this article, including what's next, click here to go to the full article on Tracey's blog.