The country’s first offshore wind farm, located a few miles from the coast of Rhode Island, started providing electricity to parts of the state last December thanks to clean-energy developer Deepwater Wind. The fleet of five 600-foot-tall, 200-ton GE wind turbines, bolted to the seabed of the Atlantic Ocean, represents a collaborative effort by a team of marine biologists, electrical engineers, and turbine designers. “I help them figure out how we can take [their] technology and apply it to projects that can be built in real life,” CEO Jeffrey Grybowski says. Grybowski was a corporate lawyer with little experience in energy when he joined Deepwater in 2010, but his background in parsing complicated policy issues proved training enough: He spent more than six years chasing down approvals for 26 different permits before he could install a single turbine. The wind farm currently powers 17,000 homes, while Grybowski is working with legislators in New York and Maryland to build additional farms along the eastern seaboard.