The Rhode Island wind farm near Block Island became the first offshore wind farm in the United States to be connected to an electrical grid.
Deepwater Wind, an off-shore wind developer in Providence, Rhode Island, announced that regional electrical grid operator Independent System Operator New England and the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council cleared the wind farm to go live, according to Rhode Island Public Radio.
"Our success here is a testament to the hard work of hundreds of local workers who helped build this historic project, and to the Block Islanders and the thousands more around the U.S. who've supported us every step of the way of this amazing journey," Deepwater Wind chief executive officer Jeffrey Grybowski said in a company statement.
The Providence Journal reported that Deepwater Wind had been running numerous tests with the wind farm since it was completed in August. The newspaper stated that the wind farm delivers energy to substation on Block Island through underwater cables, then to the mainland.
ISO New England recently concluded that the Block Island wind farm could be integrated into the larger power system without causing disruption, clearing the last hurdle for its operation, the Providence Journal noted.
Grybowski said the wind turbines produced more than one gigawatt-hour of electricity and performed well even in harsh ocean weather conditions, according to the Rhode Island Public Radio.
"Rhode Island is proud to be home to the nation’s first offshore wind farm – and I'm proud to be the only governor in America who can say we have steel in the water and blades spinning over the ocean," Rhode Island Governor Gina M. Raimondo said in a Deepwater Wind statement.
"As the Ocean State, we're motivated by our shared belief that we need to produce and consume cleaner, more sustainable energy and leave our kids a healthier planet – but also by this tremendous economic opportunity. With this project, we've put hundreds of our local workers to work at-sea and at our world-class ports and are growing this innovative industry."
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