The Coastal Resources Center at the University of Rhode Island (URI) held a workshop last week to educate planners from potential offshore wind industry states about the state's Special Area Management Plan (SAMP), a planning document that recommended two areas for offshore wind development.
According to the Providence Journal, the idea behind the SAMP was to have the state – not developers – identify the most appropriate places for offshore wind turbines. Planners considered distances from shore, wind speeds, sediments and water depth to narrow down areas, Malcolm Spaulding, professor of ocean engineering at URI, said during a presentation at the workshop last Tuesday. Then, he said, they looked at other uses, such as shipping channels, fishing grounds, marine habitats and Navy submarine lanes.
Among those who will benefit from the SAMP is Providence, R.I.-based developer Deepwater Wind, which has proposed two wind farms off Rhode Island: an eight-turbine demonstration project off the coast of Block Island and a 200-turbine development in Rhode Island Sound.