|Kaheawa Wind Power is one of the largest wind farms in Hawaii.|
The nation's first offshore wind farm is set to open off the coast of Rhode Island this fall, ushering in a new era in the U.S. for the industry.
Developers, federal regulators and industry experts say the opening will move the U.S. industry from a theory to reality, paving the way for the construction of many more wind farms that will eventually provide power for many Americans.
Deepwater Wind is building a five-turbine wind farm off Block Island, Rhode Island to power about 17,000 homes.
The project costs about $300 million, according to the company.
CEO Jeffrey Grybowski said the Block Island wind farm enables larger projects because it proves that wind farms can be built along the nation's coast.
Offshore wind farms, which benefit from strong winds because of their location, are being proposed near population epicenters that lack the space to build on land. Indeed, several states are pushing ambitious clean energy goals, which include offshore wind.
|West Maui Mountains.|
Among them is California, which has a target of generating 50 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2030.
Vermont hopes to hit 55 percent by next year and Hawaii has called for 100 percent renewable power by 2045.
The title is misleading in that Maui has had a functioning windfarm for years.