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Senator Reed welcomed U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell to Rhode Island to join Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Director Abigail Ross Hopper, Governor Gina Raimondo, the congressional delegation, and representatives of Deepwater Wind to celebrate an historic “steel in the water” milestone for America’s first commercial scale offshore wind farm off Block Island.

The celebration included a boat tour of the project site to provide a close look at the turbine foundation work underway.

Deepwater Wind is constructing a five-turbine, 30-megawatt wind farm in state waters about three nautical miles southeast of Block Island. At 589 feet above sea level, the turbines will be among the tallest in the world. The project, scheduled to be online in 2016, is expected to power about 17,000 homes. It is the first project of its kind in the United States.

“Getting to this point has truly been a collaborative effort, and I would like to recognize all my colleagues, as well as Governor Raimondo and the state leadership for their efforts to position Rhode Island as a leader in clean, renewable energy.  I am proud of the work being done here to help protect our environment, reduce long-term energy costs, support our local businesses, and create sustainable jobs.  Together, we can build a local green energy industry here in the Ocean State for years to come,” said Senator Reed.