Block Island Wind Farm

THE NATION'S FIRST OFFSHORE WINDFARM
Block Island Wind Farm

Project Description

Deepwater Wind’s Block Island Wind Farm began operation on December 12, 2016, when the first megawatt was produced at the wind farm site, roughly three miles off the Block Island coast. The Block Island Wind farm is historic as the first offshore wind farm in the United States.

INSPIRE scientists supported the development and implementation of the Marine Work Plan and permitting strategy. We also designed and conducted numerous technical studies including benthic resources surveys, cable routing, eelgrass surveys, finfish trawl surveys, lobster surveys, a geophysical desktop study, hardbottom impact surveys, fisheries data collection, recreational boating surveys and NEPA documentation.

INSPIRE scientists “proposed an innovative approach that gave us the information we needed much more cost effectively than we expected.” – Clint Plummer, Vice President of Development, Deepwater Wind

Two Wind Turbine Generators that form part of the Deepwater Wind Block Island Wind Farm array.
Block Island Wind Farm in operation.

PROBLEMDevelop a comprehensive environmental assessment plan for the nation’s first offshore wind farm.

APPROACHSupported the permitting strategy, and designed and conducted a comprehensive environmental assessment of the proposed development area and provided innovative mapping results that were easily understood, facilitating project acceptance and permit award.


OUTCOME
Awarding of permits for wind turbine construction, cost-efficient cable routing, and the installation of the USA’s first offshore wind farm.

Assessment aspects of project:
    • Benthic Survey
    • Fisheries Survey
    • Geological Survey
    • Recreational Boating Survey
    • Lobster Survey
Block Island Wind Farm turbine foundation during the construction phase.
Block Island Wind Farm turbine foundation during the construction phase.
Marine scientists Brian Jenkins (left) and Matthew Griffin (center) with the firm INSPIRE Environmental work with local fishermen, such as Anthony Ponte (right), to collect data on fish around the Block Island Wind Farm.
INSPIRE Environmental works with local fishermen to collect data on fish around the Block Island Wind Farm.  AMBAR ESPINOZA / RIPR
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