Officials tour site of nation’s 1st offshore wind farm

© Photo Credit: Congressman Jim Langevin

By The Associated Press

NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (AP) _ Federal and state officials say the beginning of construction for the nation's first offshore wind farm is the success the industry needs to surge forward in the United States.

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell called it a “pioneering moment'' for an important industry.          

Deepwater Wind is building a five-turbine wind farm off Block Island, Rhode Island, which it expects to power 17,000 homes as early as next year.

It began attaching the first of the steel foundations to the ocean floor Sunday. The first one touching the seabed is known in the industry as the “first steel in the water.''

Deepwater Wind CEO Jeffrey Grybowski says it was a spectacular moment.             

Deepwater Wind took officials, including Jewell, and project supporters to the site by boat Monday.

© The Associated Press  / WLNE-TV 2015