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Updated: Friday, 24 Feb 2012, 7:10 PM EST
Published : Friday, 24 Feb 2012, 7:10 PM EST
(WPRI) - The Smart from the Start program is trying to get off shore wind energy up and running in Rhode Island.
The feds have given the Ocean State the green light to explore wind energy development in an area of federal waters that covers about 164 thousand acres.
The Bureau of Ocean and Environmental Management, known as BOEM, chose an area offshore from Rhode Island and Massachusetts that will not adversely affect the environment, especially fish populations.
"BOEM has now concluded that they can exclude from potential use, a significant part of traditional fishing grounds," Sen Jack Reed said.
Commercial fisherman still have concerns about off shore wind turbines, but seemed satisfied with Friday's announcement.
"As long as we continue to have a seat at the table, I think those concerns will wane as time goes on," Rick Bellavance said.
According the Department of the Interior, if offshore wind farms were fully developed, the Atlantic Ocean winds could generate electricity for the entire country.
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