US developer Deepwater Wind has applied to federal and state regulators for approval to build five wind 6MW turbines three miles off Block Island in Rhode Island.
After three years of study, costing more than $7m, permit applications for the Block Island project - accompanied by a lengthy environmental assessment and plans for transmission infrastructure - have been filed with the US Army Corps of Engineers (ACE), the US Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), and the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council.
"We’re excited to share our findings," said Deepwater Wind chief executive, William Moore. The project is designed around the installation of Siemens 6MW direct drive turbines, with construction planned for 2014.
The applications are the final stage in Block Island’s permitting process, which the company expects to be completed by early 2013. Deepwater Wind undertook surveys using airplanes, boats and remote-operated vehicles on the ocean floor as well as radar. It found no significant environmental impediments to building and operating the wind farm or to installing transmission cables.
In a news release, the ACE confirmed it has made a preliminary determination that the wind farm and submarine cables are "unlikely to adversely affect terrestrial and marine protected species." It added that "further consultation with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service regarding threatened and endangered species is being conducted and will be concluded prior to the final permit decision."