In the first auction of its kind in the U.S., a Rhode Island-based company has agreed to pay $3.8 million to lease offshore wind sites off Massachusetts and Rhode Island where it will install 200 turbines with a total capacity of 1,000 MW.According to a Bloomberg News report, power production could begin in 2018.Deepwater Wind LLC won rights to an area covering more than 164,000 acres about 9 miles south of the Rhode Island coast. The U.S. Interior Department said the power generated on the site would be enough to power 1 million houses.Deepwater CEO Jeff Grybowski said the project could cost as much as $5 billion, including $1 billion for transmitting the power to shore. The electricity will be sold in southern New England and on Long Island, New York.Grybowski said the turbines, which have not been selected, would have a capacity of at least 6 MW.There are currently no large offshore wind farms in the U.S. Two other federal leases off the coast of Delaware and in Nantucket Sound off Massachusetts have been issued without auctions, according to The Wall Street Journal, and Bloomberg News reports more East Coast leases will be offered by the government in the next nine months.
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