Deepwater Wind will soon embark on the final stage of construction of the Block Island Wind Farm, which remains on schedule to be completed this summer and commissioned this fall.
Installation of the turbine towers, blades and nacelles is scheduled to begin in early August at the project site, located roughly three miles off the coast of Block Island, R.I.
“It’s go time,” says Jeffrey Grybowski, CEO of Deepwater Wind. “We’re ready to bring this historic project across the finish line. This is sure to be a momentous summer – not just for this project, but also for the start of a new American industry.”
The developer says more than 300 local workers are involved with building the 30 MW Block Island Wind Farm. In addition, Deepwater Wind is using four Rhode Island ports – at Block Island, Galilee, Quonset Point and ProvPort – to complete construction and staging. Additionally, the U.S. Coast Guard has established a 500-yard exclusion zone during offshore construction.
Last week, the Big Max cable lay vessel (under a contract with LS Cable and its subcontractor, Durocher Marine) completed installation of all cables, including four inter-array cables connecting the five turbine foundations and the export cable, which connects the wind farm to a new substation on Block Island.
In addition, National Grid completed the installation of the sea2shore submarine cable connection between Block Island and mainland Rhode Island in June.
All 15 turbine tower sections and 15 blades – supplied by GE Renewable Energy and its blade manufacturer, LM Wind Power – have been delivered to ProvPort in Providence. These components will be shuttled from ProvPort to the project site by two Montco Offshore liftboats – the L/B Paul and the L/B Caitlin – which arrived at Quonset Point earlier this month.
GE has completed manufacturing of all turbine components. The last major components to be completed – the five nacelles – began their journey across the Atlantic from the manufacturing facility in St. Nazaire, France, to the project site on July 15.
The nacelles are being transported by Fred. Olsen Windcarrier’s Brave Tern, an offshore wind installation vessel. The Brave Tern is expected to arrive in Rhode Island by early August and will first undergo U.S. Coast Guard inspections at its bunkering position in the southern area of Narragansett Bay near Newport before traveling to the Block Island site.
The final construction phase – offshore turbine installation by Fred. Olsen Windcarrier’s Brave Tern and the two Montco liftboats – will take roughly one month and is expected to finish by early September.
GE technicians will commission the wind turbines – a process that will start during offshore installation and take several months. The Block Island Wind Farm’s crew transfer vessel, Atlantic Wind Transfer’s Atlantic Pioneer, will transport these technicians to the wind farm, which will be in commercial operations once commissioning is complete.
“Projects like the Block Island Wind Farm are the future not only of Rhode Island’s economy, but the whole country’s economy,” states Gov. Gina M. Raimondo, D-R.I. “With this project, Rhode Island continues to position itself as a leader and an innovator in the industries of the future.”
Photo courtesy of Deepwater Wind’s Facebook page