PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The State of Rhode Island has received a 2018 State Leadership in Clean Energy (SLICE) Award for the successful installation of the Block Island Offshore Wind Farm. This was one of only six programs nationwide to win a 2018 SLICE Award for its outstanding accomplishments in clean energy.
The Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA), a nonprofit coalition of public agencies working together to advance clean energy, established these biennial awards to highlight model programs and projects that have accelerated the adoption of clean energy technologies and strengthened clean energy markets. An independent panel of five distinguished judges with years of experience in the clean energy industry served on the selection committee.
North America's first offshore wind farm connected Block Island to the mainland electrical grid for the first time. This project represents a significant clean energy accomplishment for Rhode Island and the nation, and it is helping to create jobs and spur a new industry.
"Rhode Island is proud to be home to the nation's first—and still only—offshore windfarm," said Governor Gina M. Raimondo. "Growing Rhode Island's green economy is one of my top priorities, and our wind farm is a tangible sign of our progress. We're honored to be recognized, and look forward to continuing our efforts."
"The Block Island Offshore Wind Farm is the first of its kind in the United States because Deepwater Wind, policy makers, and stakeholders throughout the state all worked together to make it happen," said Rhode Island State Energy Commissioner Carol Grant. "We are honored to be selected, but this achievement is thanks to the many people across sectors who unified on a common vision and saw it through to completion."
CESA member organizations from across the United States submitted nominations for the 2018 SLICE Awards. Entries were judged based on public benefits and results, cost effectiveness, leadership and innovation, and replicability.
The five judges who reviewed the nominated programs were: Elizabeth Doris, National Renewable Energy Laboratory; Sara Fisher-Goad, former Executive Director of the Alaska Energy Authority; John Geesman, former Commissioner at the California Energy Commission; Rebecca O'Neil, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; and Devrashree Saha, Council of State Governments.
According to the judges, "The Block Island Offshore Wind Farm is a monumental achievement and a milestone for renewable energy in the United States."
CESA is publishing a case study on the Block Island Offshore Wind Farm in June. It will be posted on CESA's website at www.cesa.org/projects/state-leadership-in-clean-energy/2018.