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US interior secretary: wind power progress in RI

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- The U.S Secretary of the Interior is citing Rhode Island as a national leader in efforts to build offshore wind farms.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell was in Providence on Tuesday for an offshore wind conference sponsored by the American Wind Energy Association.

Jewell says Rhode Island should be applauded for efforts to build America's first offshore wind farm. In August, Providence-based Deepwater Wind won two leases for an area between Block Island and Martha's Vineyard where it plans to build. Deepwater hopes to gain regulatory approval in the next few years to allow it to begin construction.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee and U.S. Sheldon Whitehouse also addressed the conference on Tuesday. Whitehouse says wind energy has the potential to create cleaner energy while creating good wind turbine manufacturing jobs.