By Boston Business Journal

Ocean energy developer Deepwater Wind of Providence, R.I., has made a formal proposal to federal officials in its bid to lease sections of the ocean off Rhode Island and Massachusetts for what would be the worldâ¿¿s largest wind farm, with up to 200 turbines.

Deepwater Wind submitted its plan for the Deepwater Wind Energy Center with the U.S. Department of the Interiorâ¿¿s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) in response to the agencyâ¿¿s call for information and nominations for wind projects in the federal waters of southern New England.

The company, which hopes to sell electricity to utilities in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York and Connecticut, said the project will be the first of a ⿿second generation⿝ of offshore wind farms in the U.S., with a capacity of about 1,000 megawatts.

⿿The Deepwater Wind Energy Center is poised to be the first regional offshore wind energy center in the United States with a wind farm and a transmission system serving multiple markets,⿝ said William M. Moore, Deepwater Wind CEO, in a press release.

According to Deepwater Wind, the wind far would be sited in ocean waters of southern Rhode Island Sound, ⿿where it will be barely visible from the shore⿝.

Deepwater Wind hopes to start construction in 2014 or 2015, with the first wind turbines in operation by the end of 2016 or 2017.

In its proposal, Deepwater Wind, which is planning other projects off the coasts of New Jersey and Block Island, cited as an asset the economies of scale that it can achieve with a large facility, and it noted that wind technologies are maturing and becoming more competitive with power plants using fossil fuels.

Deepwater Wind said that since it drew up its original plans for the Deepwater Window Energy Center it has consulted with fishing groups and other stakeholders, and has refined the ocean lease blocks it was considering.

The company proposed placing most of the turbines 20 to 25 miles offshore, with the rest being no closer than 13.8 miles from inhabited land. In conjunction with the wind farm Deepwater Wind is developing a regional offshore power transmission network to connect southern New England with eastern Long Island.

Copyright 2011 American City Business Journals

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