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By PBN Staff
By PBN Staff
PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island has positioned itself as a leader in the offshore wind energy movement alongside Massachusetts, according to a new report from the National Wildlife Federation assessing offshore wind progress among Atlantic Coast states.
The report, “Catching the Wind: State Actions Needed to Seize the Golden Opportunity of Atlantic Offshore Wind Power,” found that more than 1.5 million acres off the coast have been designated for offshore wind power development, enough to produce more than 16,000 megawatts of electricity to more than 5 million homes.
Half of that potential electricity generation, 8,000 megawatts, is located off the shores of Rhode Island and Massachusetts, and the two states have led the pursuit of offshore wind projects with Deepwater Wind’s proposed Block Island Wind Farm and the Cape Wind project planned for Massachusetts waters.
The Block Island project, a 30-megawatt offshore wind farm located entirely in Rhode Island, will power more than 17,000 homes annually, the NWF report stated. More than 165,000 acres of federal waters in Rhode Island Sound has been leased to Deepwater Wind for offshore wind development, an area with an estimated 3,000 megawatts of electricity generation potential.
“Climate change is one of the most significant threats of our time and wind can transform our energy future from dirty and costly to clean and viable,” said Tricia K. Jedele, vice president of the Conservation Law Foundation and director of CLF’s Rhode Island Advocacy Center. “Rhode Island has become the shining example of not just how to get renewable energy done, but how to do it right. We need Rhode Island’s continued leadership in developing offshore wind power for the future of our economy and for the health of our communities.”
The Conservation Law Foundation cosponsored the NWF report along with Environment Rhode Island, the Environmental Council of Rhode Island and similar organizations in other Atlantic Coast states.
Jedele joined other advocates in the NWF report in urging Rhode Island’s leaders to take the following actions to push forward offshore wind power in the state:
“Rhode Island should be proud of the strides we have made to advance offshore wind power and the precedent-setting Block Island Wind Farm,” said Jamie Rhodes, president of Environment Council of Rhode Island. “Now is the time for decisive action, to take bold, responsible steps forward to advance a clean energy future that can protect our communities and natural resources from this urgent threat.”
To read the complete report, visit www.nwf.org.