Written by IEEE | June 23, 2017

While wind turbines have been around for years, they usually are on land and the power produced does not directly reach homes. Block Island, off the coast of Rhode Island, has become the first American community to receive its electricity directly from an offshore wind project. Homes in this area are now powered by wind, allowing the power company to save almost a million gallons of diesel fuel every year.

The wind farm is located in the ocean, with five offshore turbines that can generate 30 megawatts of renewable electricity using the winds off the ocean. Undersea cables connect the wind farm to the island, bringing the power to the homes on land. Concerns about weather or very high winds damaging the equipment were squashed when the wind farm kept producing electricity during a storm with winds up to 55 mph.

The success of bringing alternative power to these homes means that this technology could be replicated in places all over the world that are isolated or lack electricity.

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