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The developer of the nation’s first commercial-scale offshore wind farm installed the first steel foundation for the project off Rhode Island’s coast.

The Sunday installation of Deepwater Wind Block Island Wind Farm came just in time for a Monday tour of the site that will include Obama administration officials, lawmakers and Rhode Island’s governor, among others.

{mosads}“It was a very big moment,” Jeffrey Grybowski, Chief Executive Officer of Deepwater Wind, told the Providence Journal shortly after watching the first foundation’s installation from a boat.

The company had hoped to install the foundation on Thursday, but the weather did not cooperate, the Journal reported.

The Block Island project will have five turbines, each with a capacity of six megawatts, when it is completed next year.

After repeated delays and setbacks at Cape Wind off nearby Massachusetts, the Block Island farm is set to become the first United States demonstration of offshore wind, which is far more prevalent in Europe and other places.

The tour by dignitaries included Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Reps. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) and Jim Langevin (D-R.I.), Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Director Abigail Ross Hopper and Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D).

“Deepwater Wind and Rhode Island officials have demonstrated what can be accomplished through a forward-looking vision and good working partnerships,” Jewell said in a statement following the tour.

“Block Island Wind Farm will not only tap into the enormous power of the Atlantic’s coastal winds to provide reliable, affordable and clean energy to Rhode Islanders, but will also serve as a beacon for America’s sustainable energy future.”

Tags Interior Department Jack Reed offshore wind Sally Jewell Sheldon Whitehouse wind energy

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