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According to Gov. Donald L. Carcieri, R-R.I., the state has signed a joint development agreement with Deepwater Wind Rhode Island LLC outlining the terms and conditions for the construction of an offshore wind energy project that is expected to provide 1.3 million MWh of renewable energy annually, which is 15% of the total electricity used in the state.

In addition, the developer has revised the construction schedule to put the development on pace to be the first offshore wind farm constructed in North America.

Under the agreement, Deepwater Wind will receive preferred developer status, allowing the company first choice of approved sites for the placement and construction of the project. Approved locations will be determined through the special area management plan (SAMP) being conducted by the Coastal Resources Management Council in partnership with the University of Rhode Island.

Deepwater Wind has pledged a significant private investment in Rhode Island with the establishment of a regional development office and the construction of a manufacturing facility in Quonset, and the creation of approximately 800 direct jobs with annual wages of $60 million. The Quonset facility will manufacture support structures upon which the turbine and its tower are based and will service all of Deepwater Wind's northeast projects.

The agreement identifies two major phases of the construction of the wind development, each with an independent utility. Phase I will be a 20 MW project in state waters, with the exact site selected from locations shown to be acceptable by the SAMP. It is expected that construction of Phase I will begin in late 2010 and be completed in late June 2012.

In Phase II, Deepwater Wind will construct a utility-scale project in a separate location within the SAMP. This phase is expected to produce 1.3 million MWh annually within three years of approval of the company's application to the federal Mineral Management Service for a lease of submerged federal lands.

It is expected that the development will cost in excess of $1.5 billion to construct, all from private investment sources.

SOURCE: Office of Gov. Donald L. Carcieri

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