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By Chris Barrett
PBN Staff Writer
PROVIDENCE – Two firms now want to develop wind farms off the coast of Rhode Island.
On Thursday afternoon, Neptune Wind proposed a 500-megawatt wind farm about 20 nautical miles south of the border between Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
The announcement, made on the company’s blog, comes a day after the secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior formally announced a process to solicit interest from developers pitching energy projects in an area roughly between Martha’s Vineyard and Block Island.
That same day, Providence-based Deepwater Wind announced its own plans to propose a roughly $5 billion, 1,000-megawatt wind farm with between 150 and 200 turbines. The company would use Quonset Business Park as a hub of operations.
Neptune Wind said it would base its operations at a new facility planned for the Port of New Bedford. The company added that it planned to “work closely” with commercial fishermen and other parties concerned about the impacts of a wind farm.
The Interior Department set an Oct. 3 deadline to solicit development proposals and comments about building in the area of water the department identified as generally favorable for wind farms. If both Neptune and Deepwater Wind are deemed qualified and desire the same area, the federal government would move to a formal bidding process.
On Thursday afternoon, Deepwater Wind Chief Administrative Officer Jeff Grybowski said he was confident Deepwater would win any competition.
“We are very confident that we will win a competition regardless of who else bids,” he said. “We’ve invested a great deal of money in Rhode Island and in this project and have built up a very strong team.”