Block Island, is well known for being the smallest town in the smallest state in the country as well as for its attraction for tourists and picturesque landscape. But, now it’s also known as the home of the first offshore wind project in the United States.

Early Monday, the tiny island off the coast of Rhode Island took a historic step when it switched off the diesel generators that had been used to fill the island's energy needs. Just over 1,000 people live on Block Island year round. But during the summer, ferries shuttle 15,000 to 20,000 visitors the 12 miles out to the island each day.

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The island has historically relied on diesel generators to keep the everything running, burning more than 1 million gallons of the polluting fuel each year. But after a lengthy approval and construction process, the island can now rely on renewable wind energy instead.

In addition to connection to the wind turbines, Block Island also got a long awaited hard-wired connection to the mainland. The 20-mile undersea cable is owned by National Grid. It's something for which residents have been waiting for years. A hard-wired connection will help stabilize and bring down energy prices on the island, and will give residents the broadband technology update they desperately need.

It’s estimated the turbines off the coast of the island will supply most of the energy the island needs, and even send some back to the grid for the rest of the state.

The five-turbine project began sending power to the grid in December, but Monday was the first day the island was powered by the turbines and the diesel generators were turned off. The generators are three miles off the coast of the island, 15 miles from the mainland. Some residents balked at the idea of having such large turbines on the horizon line. Others thought the turbines wouldn’t do anything to bring down energy costs, which time has yet to tell. But in the end, the push for the renewable energy source won out and the turbines were built.

What makes the switch even more historic is that it was completed on time and on budget by Deepwater Wind. A good sign for the future of wind projects by the company. Currently, Deepwater Wind is working on projects off the coasts of New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New York. Those massive turbines will be installed a minimum of 15 miles off the coast and rigorously tested after installation, which can take years. But once they’re up and running, they require little maintenance and help cut greenhouse gas emissions.