Rhode Island wins approval for largest wind farm

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Racking up low power output, a wind farm in the same location never got off the ground

The federal government has approved a project to build a wind farm off the coast of Rhode Island.

The 126-turbine project will be built by Deepwater Wind, a subsidiary of Energy Future Holdings.

The project, near Block Island, a Rhode Island island known for surfing and organic food shops, will be able to produce enough electricity to power nearly 50,000 homes.

Energy Future Holdings was once part of TXU Corp.

The plan for the project was first announced in March 2017 and just became official on Thursday.

“Building the largest wind farm in the United States in what’s been a daunting and lengthy process is a testament to the incredible progress we’ve made,” Bill Shine, a co-founder of Deepwater Wind, said in a statement.

“Now the hard work begins.”

Image copyright Deepwater Wind Image caption Deepwater Wind is in the process of applying for federal permits for the second phase of its project in Block Island Sound

The Block Island Sound project, one of the most visible proposals on the East Coast, has been approved, however the company will need to get federal permits for the second phase of construction.

“Like other wind farm projects, we look forward to working with Deepwater Wind and the US government to achieve the best possible outcome for Rhode Island and Block Island,” said Jules Leavitt, Rhode Island’s secretary of energy and natural resources.

However, the project will not give Block Island – which is suffering from rising costs and the high cost of fuel – electricity.

Only a fraction of the Block Island wind farm will be operational, according to a media release from Deepwater Wind. The company said it is still in the planning phase for the second phase.

Image copyright Deepwater Wind Image caption Energy Future Holdings was once part of TXU Corp.

The US relies on renewable energy for only 11% of its annual energy production, so renewable wind sources have been underdeveloped.

A major project in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, is so far the only US wind farm to be built. It is called Cape Wind and currently sits off the coast of Massachusetts.

The turbines produce enough energy to power roughly 75,000 homes.

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