The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has offered a right-of-way grant to Deepwater Wind Block Island Transmission System for the Block Island Transmission System (BITS).
“This is a major milestone for offshore renewable energy in the United States,” Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell said. “This decision marks the first right-of-way grant offered in federal waters for renewable energy transmission, paving the way for Block Island, the only Rhode Island community not connected to the grid, to have access to clean, affordable renewable energy.”
Deepwater Wind’s proposed project would entail the installation of a bi-directional submerged transmission cable between Block Island and the Rhode Island mainland. The transmission system would serve two purposes: connect Deepwater Wind’s proposed 30 megawatt (MW) Block Island Wind Farm, located in Rhode Island state waters about 2.5 nautical miles southeast of Block Island, to the Rhode Island mainland; and transmit power from the existing onshore transmission grid on the mainland to Block Island. The ROW corridor, which is about eight nautical miles long and 200 feet wide, comprises the portion of the transmission line that crosses federal waters.
To date, BOEM has awarded seven commercial wind energy leases off the Atlantic coast: two noncompetitively issued leases (one for the proposed Cape Wind project in Nantucket Sound offshore Massachusetts and one offshore Delaware); and five competitively issued leases (two offshore Rhode Island-Massachusetts, two offshore Maryland, and one offshore Virginia).
The competitive lease sales generated about $14 million in winning bids for more than 357,500 acres in federal waters. BOEM is expected to hold additional competitive auctions for Wind Energy Areas offshore Massachusetts and New Jersey in the coming year.
For more information about the Block Island Trnasmission Sysstem,
visit www.boem.gov and search for “block island”