Deepwater races Cape Wind to build first US offshore wind farm

Deepwater Wind has announced a $20m 30 MW project off Rhode Island that it claims will overhaul the Cape Wind, the current frontrunner in the race to build the first US wind farm.

Construction of the Block Island project is due to start in 2013 or 2014, the CEO of the privately owned developer told Reuters. Deepwater has been picked as preferred developer by the state of Rhode Island, which will receive the output from the wind plant.

The company is also planning further projects along the US’s Atlantic coast, include three 1 GW projects. A second Rhode Island project would feature about 200 turbines and would be linked by cable to the Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New York grids.

“In order to get a competitive cost level, we need to get to scale, which means 750 to 1000 MW, and at that size you are better off trying to sell into multiple markets,” Moore told Reuters.

Cape Wind still expects its 420 MW project in Massachusetts to the US’s first offshore wind project on a utility scale.

Deepwater is majority owned by New York investment firm DE Shaw and has First Wind, an onshore wind developer, as a minority owner.

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