- Associated Press - Thursday, May 8, 2014

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - The developer planning to build a wind farm in Rhode Island Sound has reached an agreement with environmental groups on construction practices designed to help protect whales.

Providence-based Deepwater Wind, which last year acquired two provisional leases and plans to put up to 200 turbines in the sound, announced a pact Wednesday with the Conservation Law Foundation, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the National Wildlife Federation.

The voluntary deal restricts construction during winter and early spring, when North Atlantic right whales are known to feed in the sound.

Among other things, it also places speed limits on construction vessels, restricts pile driving to daylight hours when whales can be spotted, and requires the use of noise-reducing tools and technologies.

The company hopes to begin construction in 2017.

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