1st US offshore wind farm to usher in new era for industry

By Jennifer McDermott, Associated Press

The nation's first offshore wind farm is set to open off the coast of Rhode Island this fall, ushering in a new era in the U.S. for the industry.

In this July 25, 2016 photo, workers stand near over-sized racks holding sections of wind turbine towers at a staging site at Port of Providence, in Providence, R.I. Deepwater Wind anticipates opening the first U.S. offshore wind farm off Rhode Island's coast in the fall. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The nation's first offshore wind farm is set to open off the coast of Rhode Island this fall, ushering in a new era in the U.S. for the industry.

Developers, federal regulators and industry experts say the opening will move the U.S. industry from a theory to reality, paving the way for the construction of many more wind farms that will eventually provide power for many Americans.

Deepwater Wind is building five turbines off Block Island, Rhode Island. CEO Jeffrey Grybowski says it proves wind farms can be built along the nation's coast.

He says this is the start of something much bigger.

Abigail Ross Hopper, director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, says climate change is driving interest in offshore wind and she expects to see more projects in the future.

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