Providence, Rhode Island-based Deepwater Wind announced this week that it has secured $290 million in financing needed to construct its five-turbine, 30-megawatt Block Island Wind Farm. Deepwater expects to begin placing turbines in the water this summer with commercial operations projected to start at the end of 2016.
The news means that Block Island Wind will likely be the first commercial-scale offshore wind power project in the United States, leapfrogging ahead of thelarger and currently stalled Cape Wind project planned off the coast of Massachusetts. In January, the two utility companies that had agreed to buy electricity from Cape Wind backed out of the deal because the project had failed to make enough forward progress, mainly due to a dogged litigation strategy pursued by well-funded opponents (namely Bill Koch). The developers of Cape Wind are now trying to convince the utilities to revive the disputed power purchase contracts. More litigation anyone?