CRMC officials recommend Deepwater Wind for approval
A SUBCOMMITTEE of the Coastal Resources Management Council on Thursday unanimously voted to recommend Deepwater Wind's Block Island Wind Farm project for approval. Above, a rendering of one of the proposed wind turbines.
NARRAGANSETT – The Coastal Resources Management Council’s Ocean Special Area Management subcommittee unanimously voted Thursday to recommend approval of Deepwater Wind’s Block Island Wind Farm at a meeting at the University of Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay campus.
“The next step is for our legal counsel to draw up the written version of the subcommittee’s recommendation, along with the 14 stipulations,” said CRMC spokeswoman Laura Dwyer. “We hope to have that written recommendation within 30 days and then a hearing on the project will be scheduled before the full council.”
One topic of discussion by the subcommittee was the establishment of procedures for decommissioning the turbine structures, said Dwyer.
No date has been set for the CRMC hearing.
CRMC Executive Director Grover Fugate had previously said the full Coastal Resources Management Council could accept the subcommittee’s recommendation, reject it, send it back for further consideration or recommend changes to the plan.
The vote moves Deepwater Wind’s proposed five-turbine demonstration project closer to the start of local construction, which CEO Jeff Grybowski said is anticipated to begin in early 2015.
Deepwater has a contract with the French company Alstom for five 6-megawatt offshore wind turbines for the Block Island Wind Farm.
Deepwater Wind spokeswoman Meaghan Wims previously told Providence Business News that the manufacturing of turbine blades began in December and those components will be stored in Denmark.
One condition of the approval is that National Grid will not begin installation of the underwater portion of the transmission system until Deepwater Wind has verified by a third party, who will report to the CRMC, that the fabrication of the jacket foundation structures that will support the wind turbine generators has begun.