Offshore wind farm completes construction

Offshore wind farm completes construction
© Getty Images

The nation’s first offshore wind farm completed construction Thursday when the final turbine blade was installed.

Jeff Grybowski, CEO of Deepwater Wind, tweeted about the milestone Thursday afternoon at the Block Island Wind Farm, which the company is building off the coast of Block Island in Rhode Island.

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When the project starts operation later this year, it will be the first utility-scale offshore wind farm in the United States.

The $300 million Block Island project has five turbines with a total generating capacity of 30 megawatts — enough to power about 17,000 homes.

The Block Island project has been under construction since last year, with the final steps and turbines being installed in the last few weeks.

Offshore wind benefits from faster wind speeds and larger scales than onshore turbines. But it’s currently far more expensive, in part because key parts and related equipment are only produced out of the country and must be imported.

Numerous other wind farms are at various other stages of planning on the East Coast, including off the shores of Massachusetts and New York.

Offshore wind power is far more common elsewhere in the world, like northern Europe and China.