Unblock the Wind: Bring Deepwater Wind Power to Long Island

Wind farm
Photo: iStock.com

As you may know, a company named Deepwater Wind is proposing to build a 16-turbine wind farm out in the ocean off Long Island. It will not be visible from the island, but will be able to provide power to 50,000 homes—all the homes on the South Fork with some left over—when completed in two years.

At the present time, reps from the company are meeting with different local groups about this. Surprisingly, considering global warming, there are quite a few objections, one about where the cable from the farm would come ashore and another about how the project might affect commercial fishing.

Six Deepwater Wind turbines are already up and running to provide all the power needed for Block Island, with additional power sent to Naragansett, Rhode Island. These six are the first in the nation.

Earlier today, I spoke with Fraser Lang, a former publisher of The Block Island Times, who was involved with the Block Island project during the period in 2013–15 while it was being discussed.

Today, the six Block Island turbines are clearly visible out in the ocean off Block Island.

“Were there battles about where the power line from the windfarm would come ashore?” I asked.

“A few people objected,” Lang said. “But most were for it. It’s come ashore at State Beach, which is the main bathing beach on the island.”

“Was that where it was first proposed?”

“Yes. It comes in there, six feet underground, right up Beach Avenue to the power station.”

“Any problems?”

“Nope. Naragansett fought to keep it from coming ashore there. It does, though, at State Beach.”

“Has fishing been compromised as a result of the turbines?”

“Not at all. It’s the same as it was before. Indeed, we now get people who go out in boats to see the new turbines. They circle around the windmills. It’s quite something.”

It should be noted that I have special feelings for Block Island. I founded The Block Island Times in 1970, and for the next 12 years, owned it and nurtured it to become the newspaper of record for that island.

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