Block Island to start getting power from wind turbines

Mark Harrington for Newsday:  Block Island on Monday will formally throw the switch on a first-time connection to the New England energy grid through a new cable to the mainland, and begin receiving power from the country’s first five offshore wind turbines.

In an interview Friday, Block Island Power Co. chief executive Jeff Wright said the event will end nearly a century of dependency on loud, smoky diesel-fired power generators that burn about 1 million gallons a year.

“We’re so looking forward to the peace and the quiet,” said Wright, alluding to the shutdown of the combustion generators. A switch connecting to the grid via a National Grid cable to the mainland is scheduled to be thrown at 5:30 a.m. “We’re confident in the switch-over.”

All eyes have been on Block Island’s wind farm, visible 14 miles from Montauk Point, since Deepwater Wind completed the first offshore U.S. wind farm three miles from the Block Island coast in December. The Long Island Power Authority this year signed a contract with Deepwater to construct an array three times larger in the waters off Rhode Island. LIPA is also eyeing an even larger plan by Deepwater in the same Rhode Island-Massachusetts wind energy area for an additional 210 megawatts of wind power.  Full Article:

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