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Pioneering Wind Farm Hopes To wash Up The ‘Deepwater’ Title

OFF THE COAST OF RHODE ISLAND ― The oil business left a smudge on the country’s first offshore wind farm six years before it ever came on line.

Only a year after Jeff Grybowski proposed building the 5-turbine project, which began operations last week three miles off Rhode Island’s Block Island, one of many worst oil disasters in historical past struck. Deepwater Horizon, an offshore rig pumping oil for BP, exploded, killing 11 workers and unleashing an undersea gusher on April 20, 2010, that spewed crude into the Gulf of Mexico for 87 days.

The issue for Grybowski: He named his Providence-based developer Deepwater Wind.
“Maybe we can redeem the Deepwater name,” Grybowski informed The Huffington Publish throughout a boat tour of his wind farm last week. “We’re the offshore wind guys. That’s how folks know us.”

The BP blowout became worldwide news. CNN’s Anderson Cooper aired stay undersea video footage of the seafloor nicely gushing thick, brown fluid for weeks.

On the time, Deepwater Wind was simply beginning to navigate the labyrinthine laws and approvals needed to build its farm. Grybowski kept the name.

Then came Hollywood. Summit Leisure recently released “Deepwater Horizon,” a feature film about the explosion, starring Mark Wahlberg. Google the time period “Deepwater” and you’re unlikely to seek out anything however the movie or stories on the 6-yr-outdated disaster.

“It positively mixes up our search results,” Grybowski mentioned. “But we’re two very different companies.” Plus, Transocean, the operator of the destroyed rig, used “Deepwater” for no less than 10 different offshore oil sites.

Grybowski stated he never thought-about changing the identify.
“Since our identify is Deepwater Wind, I feel we’ve at all times sufficiently differentiated from the other venture,” Grybowski mentioned on a observe-up call on Friday. “In our markets where we’re obviously working, in the Northeast, offshore oil actually isn’t something that happens. I don’t suppose folks within the Northeast associate it with that.”

Offshore wind appears poised to develop into a significant source of fresh electricity.
President Barack Obama’s Clean Energy Plan requires petroleum products video game petroleum products video game major reductions in carbon emissions from utility firms that depend on burning natural gas and coal to produce electricity. Wind energy from turbines built onshore has been growing lately as know-how makes it extra reasonably priced.

But windmills situated offshore, the place wind is stronger and extra dependable, might, in idea, generate as much as 4,223 gigawatts of energy, based on a 2012 study by the National Renewable Vitality Laboratory. That’s roughly 4 instances the amount of electricity generated in the U.S.