Page 44: of Marine Technology Magazine (March 2013)

Instrumentation: Measurement, Processing & Analysis

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Discovering Rhode Island Offshore Wind In Rhode Island the Future is Blowing in the Wind It?s powerful, it?s clean, and it?s something the Ocean State has plenty of: energy-rich offshore winds. Rhode Island, along with its designated developer, Deepwater Wind, hopes to be the  rst in the U.S. to harness that blow, start- ing with an initial,  ve-turbine, 30-MW demonstration project off Block Island, to be quickly followed by the nation?s  rst 1,000-MW farm situated further out in federal waters. Besides bragging rights, successful deployment could put the state well on its way to diversifying its energy resources and reducing its fossil fuel consumption. From an economic standpoint, the Rhode Island projects, coupled with other an-ticipated wind farm developments in the region, are expected to provide the state and its subsea maritime industry with a signi cant payout via the creation of new jobs, new job cat- egories, the facilitation of new and existing business expan- sion, increased shipping and rail traf c, and manufacturing and vessel-building opportunities ? all combining to infuse new life and a brighter future into existing ports. The potential for the marine industry is enormous, agree many observers. ?We?re talking hundreds of jobs,? said Fara Courtney, Executive Director of the Cambridge, Mass.-based U.S. Offshore Wind Collaborative (USOWC). Moreover, as the industry grows there will be a need for larger scale, spe- cialized vessels to handle construction and transport. ?If you look at the supply chain in Europe, the amount and types of equipment used for wind farming are incredible. It?s a huge industry just waiting to start up here,? said Grover Fugate, ex- ecutive director of Rhode Island?s Coastal Resources Manage- ment Council (CRMC).For example, the economic bene ts from Block Island alone could net Rhode Island an estimated $107 million in constant 2010 dollars terms or $92 million in net present value (NPV) as of Jan. 1, according to a July 2010 report prepared for the Rhode Island Economic Development Corp. (RIEDC), by Boston-based Levitan & Associates, a management consult- ing  rm specializing in energy. (Levitan based its calculations on an assumed January 2013 startup date.) It also estimated that a then 385-megawatt proposal by Deepwater would pro- vide the state $886 million in constant 2010 dollars or $659 million in NPV terms as of January 1. That proposal has since been bumped up to 1,000 megawatts. Do the math. Deepwater, meanwhile, claims that even a single 1,000-megawatt project might be enough to ?entice both do- mestic and foreign suppliers to seriously consider establishing signi cant parts of their fabrication, manufacturing, assembly, and support services? in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The developer is already committed, under a joint develop- ment agreement with the state of Rhode Island, to doing pretty close to that. It will be leasing 117 acres at Quonset Business Park, for the storage, fabrication, and staging of its offshore Credit: Quonset Business Park Aerial view of the Port of Davisville at Quonset Business Park.By Patricia KeefeMarch 2013 44 MTRMTR #2 (34-49).indd 44MTR #2 (34-49).indd 443/6/2013 1:22:01 PM3/6/2013 1:22:01 PM

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