Whale Delays Block Island Wind Farm Work

Deepwater Wind Donates $2.5 Million to Block Island Groups
Image/Deepwater Wind

ecoRI.com: After setbacks with safety and equipment issues, the Block Island Wind Farm project appears to be back on track. The latest delay, however, wasn’t manmade, but rather a visit from a humpback whale.

The whale recently held up the 5-turbine project when it entered the construction zone off Block Island and lingered for 7 hours, according to Deepwater Wind CEO Jeff Grabowski.

It may not seem like much time, but workers were driving the last steel piles into the sea floor as they neared a Nov. 1 deadline. According to the construction agreement, pile-driving can only be done during the day and isn’t permitted between Nov. 1 and May 1, so that marine animals such as whales, dolphins and sea turtles can migrate through the area. Noise from pile-driving can injure sea mammals or displace them from their habitat and migration routes. Humpback, right and fin whales are known to visit the area off Block Island.

Read more about the Block Island Wind Farm project.