Seven years after its initial proposal to develop a wind farm in the waters off Rhode Island, Deepwater Wind will begin construction this month to install five, 6-megawatt wind turbines 3 miles southeast of Block Island. This progress puts the project on its way to becoming the nation’s first offshore wind farm.
This phase of construction will consist of installing the foundations, which will be affixed to the seabed. Earlier this month, barges coming from Louisiana were loaded with the foundation components and are expected to arrive around July 17, by which time all fishing gear must be removed from the work area (see accompanying graphics).
Construction will begin the week of July 20, and take about 8 weeks. Vessels are also prohibited within the Coast Guard’s 500-yard Safety Zone around each foundation during construction.
Two staging and waiting areas for supply vessels marked “A,” located off Block Island’s western shore, and “B,” which is located closer to the mainland near Ninigret Pond, raised some concerns regarding trawling activity during the height of the season.