… The tiniest state in the nation may build the first U.S. offshore wind farm, after privately held Deepwater Wind on Thursday landed a deal to sell power from the first phase of a Rhode Island project that eventually could supply 15 percent of the state’s electricity.
Under a 20-year power purchase agreement, developer Deepwater Wind will sell electricity from up to 8 turbines producing 28 megawatts to National Grid Plc.
Earlier this year Rhode Island set a target to obtain 20 percent of its electricity from renewable resources by 2015. [ID:nN26291981]
Many states and their utilities have looked to solar and wind power to meet clean energy goals, but Rhode Island expects offshore wind power to make up the bulk of its green energy.
Currently there are no offshore wind projects operating off the United States.
The other contender to become the first U.S. offshore wind farm is Cape Wind, a 130-turbine, $1 billion wind farm planned off the coast of neighboring Massachusetts, that has been mired in protests by critics.
“It’s probably always going to be cheaper to build land-based wind farms than offshore wind farms,” Deepwater’s Chief Executive William Moore said in an interview.
“But the situation here in southern New England is actually much closer to the situation in Northern Europe where there isn’t a lot of land suitable for large ….