SOUTH KINGSTOWN—Representatives from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE) recently met with the public and interested wind farm companies to discuss the leasing of ocean area off of Block Island.
The joint Rhode Island and Massachusetts Renewable Energy Task Force, established in November 2009, has accepted unsolicited leasing applications from two wind projects companies, Deepwater Wind New England, LLC and Neptune Wind, LLC. These companies will now proceed to go through BOEMRE’s leasing process which determines which project is most financially and technically capable to build a safe and regulatory compliant wind farm.
“We submitted our unsolicited nomination for leasing of the ocean blocks,” said Paul Rich, Rhode Island Development Officer for Deepwater Wind. “BOEMRE sought to qualify our nomination and they deemed it as acceptable.”
Both Rhode Island and Massachusetts have agreed upon a section in Rhode Island Sound between Block Island and Martha’s Vineyard in which to construct a potential wind farm. This segment of ocean is called the Area of Mutual Interest (AMI) and BOEMRE has identified separate leasing blocks in which wind turbines may be built. Deepwater Wind hopes to lease approximately 35 blocks which the task force has deemed suitable for development. Because both Deepwater Wind and Neptune Wind are looking to lease overlapping blocks within the AMI, a competitive process will be opened.
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