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Wind Farm Proposal Gets Key Approval From Rhode Island

Three wind turbines from the Deepwater Wind project off Block Island, Rhode Island, as seen in August 2016. Massachusetts is slated to start spinning at its own offshore wind farm off the coast of Martha's Vineyard in a couple years. (Michael Dwyer/AP)
Three wind turbines from the Deepwater Wind project off Block Island, Rhode Island, as seen in August 2016. Massachusetts is slated to start spinning at its own offshore wind farm off the coast of Martha's Vineyard in a couple years. (Michael Dwyer/AP)

A proposed $2 billion wind farm planned for federal waters off Martha's Vineyard has received key approval from Rhode Island regulators.

The Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council in a unanimous vote Tuesday determined that the project is consistent with state policies.

Vineyard Wind plans an 84-turbine, 800-megawatt wind farm about 14 miles south of the Massachusetts island.

The project was approved despite opposition from commercial fishermen, who say their livelihood is being destroyed because they would effectively be blocked from accessing productive fishing grounds.

But The Fishermen's Advisory Board, which advises the council on fishing issues, accepted a package from Vineyard Wind that includes the creation of two funds totaling almost $17 million to compensate the fishing industry.

The project still needs approval from Massachusetts regulators.

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