ACORE is the lead permitting agency for the project, which will be located around three miles off the coast of Block Island.

The company secured approvals from nine state and federal agencies for the project, which has now been completely reviewed.

The project will feature Alstom’s 5 6MW Haliade 150 direct-drive offshore wind turbines, including tower sections.

Deepwater Wind CEO Jeffrey Grybowski said: "Today marks a pivotal moment not just for Block Island but also for the start of a new American industry we’re proud to be leading from here in the Ocean State.

"We’re gratified and emboldened by the thousands of Rhode Islanders and people around the world who have passionately supported our efforts since we embarked on this project more than six years ago. We’re ready to build this project and to bring new jobs and clean energy to the region."

The US Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is currently reviewing Deepwater’s application for a right-of-way in federal waters for the 21-mile, bi-directional Block Island Transmission System.

The transmission system will be used to export the power to the mainland electric grid.

The wind farm will generate more than 125,000 megawatt hours of energy per year, enough to power over 17,000 homes.

Deepwater, which expects to secure BOEM’s approval in the coming weeks, plans to begin offshore construction in summer 2015 and start operating the wind farm in 2016.

Image: The Block Island offshore wind farm is expected to start operations in 2016. Photo: Courtesy of xedos4/