Deepwater Wind says it has submitted its final state and federal permit applications for the Block Island Wind Farm, a 30 MW demonstration-scale offshore wind project proposed in state waters about three miles off the Block Island coast.
The company filed its permit applications with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) – the three public agencies with primary jurisdiction over the development of the Block Island Wind Farm and its associated underwater transmission system.
Deepwater Wind says it invested more than $7 million in the effort, which involved dozens of experts such as biologists and ecologists with expertise in avian, marine mammal and fish species and their habitats; terrestrial and marine archaeologists; electrical, civil, structural, acoustic and marine engineers; architects; wetlands scientists; statisticians; and many others.
Based on this intensive, three-year data collection effort, Deepwater Wind believes that there are no environmental impediments to building and operating the wind farm and transmission cable in the designated locations.
The effort involved data collection from airplanes, survey vessels and remote-operated vehicles on the sea floor. The company says it also operated a high-tech avian radar system on Block Island near the historic Southeast Light for three years, and conducted field investigations on Block Island and the mainland.
The Army Corps, BOEM and the CRMC will review the applications. The public will have the opportunity to provide comment to the reviewing agencies in the coming weeks. Deepwater Wind expects this final stage of the permitting process to be resolved by early 2013.