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Posted: 2017-05-02 16:13:00

America’s first offshore wind farm just helped to shut down a small diesel-fired electric power plant on Block Island, R.I.

Block Island officials on Monday switched on a connection between the island and a cable linking the wind farm to Rhode Island’s mainland power grid. The connection allowed the island’s only electricity source — a small diesel-fueled power plant — to shut down. The island’s 2,000 residents burned about 1 million gallons of diesel fuel annually.

The Block Island Wind Farm seen from the shore of Block Island.
Credit: NREL/flickr

“The emissions that go along with nearly a million gallons of diesel a year — that’s all going to go away,” said Jeff Wright, chief executive of the Block Island Power Co.

Diesel releases more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than any other common petroleum-based fuel except for residential fuel oil, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Less than 1 percent of electricity in the U.S. is generated using liquid petroleum, including

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