Feb 6 (Renewables Now) - The University of Rhode Island (URI) has been contracted by the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to study the effects of the Block Island wind farm, the US' first offshore wind facility, on tourism.
Featuring five wind turbines and having a capacity of 30 MW, the wind farm, developed by Deepwater Wind, is located about 3 miles southeast of Block Island, Rhode Island. It started operations in December.
The two-year social science project will document the impacts of the facility on local recreation and tourism and will devise indicators that will help BOEM plan for the installation and management of future offshore wind farms in the US.
"The Block Island community looks forward to having a greater understanding about how the wind farm interacts with island tourism and recreation as it is very important to the people who live here and earn livings from these industries," Jessica Willi, executive director for the Block Island Tourism Council, said in an announcement Friday on Rhode Island Sea Grant's website.