With about 45% of its area protected as conservation land, Block Island is a favorite place for those who live green. And now, even the blue sea surrounding us has turned green. Environmentally speaking, that is.
Just 3.3 miles off the coast of the island is the Block Island Wind Farm, the country’s first offshore wind farm. You can view it in the distance from the lawn at the Southeast Lighthouse. But the best way to see it up close and hear its story told by a local guide and wind farm enthusiast is with a narrated cruise tour on Block Island Sound.
Compared to wind farms that dot other countries’ coastal regions, this one is considered on the small size, but it doesn’t look that way in person. Its five giant turbines span more than 600 feet above sea level, and use the power of offshore winds to create enough energy to provide power about 17,000 homes while keeping 40,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions out of the atmosphere. Impressive.
The Block Island Wind Farm just spun to life last year, so this is your chance to be among the first wave of folks to view its awesome power. Tours leave Old Harbor every Wednesday at 3:45 p.m. for a one-hour tour aboard Block Island Ferry’s newest high speed ferry, MV Islander. With two inside air conditioned cabins, ample outside viewing areas and an upper sun deck, you’ll find the perfect spot for a great view. No tour on July 4th. Tickets cost $25 for adults, and $15 for kids 5 to 11. Reserve online or call 866.783.7996. https://www.blockislandferry.com/