PROVIDENCE – The R.I. Coastal Resources Management Council unanimously voted Tuesday night to grant final approval to Deepwater Wind LLC’s Block Island Wind Farm.
The decision, which represented the second of two state permits needed for the project, followed a recommendation by the CRMC’s Ocean Special Area Management subcommittee last month which called for approval of the offshore wind farm.
Last week, the R.I. Department of Environmental Management issued water quality certificates deeming Deepwater Wind to be in compliance with state wildlife protection regulations and the Clean Water Act. The DEM permit and the CRMC approval constitute completion of the state permit requirements for the project.
Deepwater still needs to obtain federal approval from the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers before beginning on-site construction.
The CRMC approval puts the Block Island Wind Farm on course to become the first offshore wind farm in the United States. CEO Jeffrey Grybowski has said previously that he expects to begin local construction on the project in early 2015, with a target operational date of 2016.