By: Kathleen Tracy |

The US Army Corps of Engineers (ACORE) has approved Deepwater Wind’s 30MW offshore wind farm in Rhode Island. Located approximately three miles off the coast of Block Island, the wind farm will feature Alstom’s 5 6MW Haliade 150 direct-drive offshore turbines, including tower sections.

ACORE, the lead permitting agency for the project, has secured approvals from nine state and federal agencies.

Deepwater Wind chief executive officer Jeffrey Grybowski calls the approval “a pivotal moment not just for Block Island but also for the start of a new American industry we’re proud to be leading from here in the Ocean State. We’re gratified and emboldened by the thousands of Rhode Islanders and people around the world who have passionately supported our efforts since we embarked on this project more than six years ago. We’re ready to build this project and to bring new jobs and clean energy to the region.”

An application for a right-of-way in federal waters for the 21-mile, bi-directional Block Island transmission system, which will be used to export the power to the mainland electric grid for distribution, is currently being reviewed by the US Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).

The offshore project is expected to generate more than 125,000MW hours of energy annually, which represents enough electricity to power more than 17,000 homes.

Deepwater, which expects BOEM to grant approval in the near future, plans to begin offshore construction in the third quarter of 2015 and have the wind farm operational in 2016.