Rhode Island state officials are marking the beginning of local construction for what is expected to be the nation's first offshore wind farm.
Construction off Block Island is expected to begin this summer, and the five-turbine wind farm is expected to be operating in the fall of 2016.
Gov. Gina Raimondo and members of the state's congressional delegation met with Deepwater Wind officials Monday at Specialty Diving Services, Inc., in North Kingstown. The company's welders are working on foundation components for the wind farm.
Raimondo says Rhode Island can be a leader for the growing industry.
Deepwater Wind says the project will create about 300 construction jobs and power about 17,000 homes.
The company also plans to build a wind farm of at least 200 turbines between Block Island and Martha's Vineyard.