Work begins on nation's first offshore wind farm

Work begins on nation's first offshore wind farm
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Rhode Island lawmakers celebrated the start of construction on the nation's first offshore wind farm Monday.

State lawmakers and members of Congress attended a ground-breaking of sorts for Deepwater Wind's project at Block Island, R.I. The event was held at a business that will build parts of the foundation for the wind farm's five turbines, according to the Providence Journal.

Sen. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseJuan Williams: Momentum builds against gerrymandering Overnight Regulation: FTC launches probe into Equifax | Dems propose tougher data security rules | NYC aims to slash greenhouse gas emissions | EPA to reconsider Obama coal ash rule Overnight Cybersecurity: Kaspersky to testify before House | US sanctions Iranians over cyberattacks | Equifax reveals flaw that led to hack MORE (D-R.I.) tweeted from the event:

The 30-megawatt Deepwater Wind project is scheduled to open next year, becoming the first commercial offshore wind farm in the United States.

Green groups also praised the accomplishment on Monday with the head of the Massachusetts Sierra Club calling it "an Apollo 11 moment" in a statement.

The Obama administration is looking to encourage more offshore wind energy development, setting a goal of doubling renewable energy production on federal lands and waters before 2020.

In January, the Department of Interior leased 350,000 acres of space off the coast of Massachusetts for wind energy development. That area joins four other East Coast locations slated to eventually host wind turbines. Another sale is planned for the coast off New Jersey later this year.