Providence, R.I.-based Deepwater Wind has selected Gulf Island Fabrication (GIF), a fabrication services provider of specialized offshore structures, to construct the steel jacket foundations for the Block Island Wind Farm, located three miles off the coast of Block Island, R.I.
With fabrication beginning in early 2015, Deepwater's Block Island Wind Farm remains on track to be the first U.S. offshore wind farm, the company notes.
According to Deepwater Wind, GIF's scope will include the fabrication and supply of the wind farm's five offshore foundations (consisting of steel jackets, decks and piles). Gulf Island has teamed up with EEW, a European supplier of rolled products.
Fabrication work will begin in early 2015 at GIF's facilities located in Houma, La., with the structures ready for delivery to the wind farm site in summer 2015. Each of the five foundations will weigh more than 1,500 tons.
As part of the agreement, GIF will subcontract work to Specialty Diving Services (SDS), based at Quonset Point in North Kingstown, R.I.
Trained welders and other local tradesmen and women at SDS will fabricate some of the foundation components at Quonset, with the work spanning several months in early 2015.
‘We are excited to begin working on the first U.S. offshore wind farm,’ says Nick Tanionos, CEO at SDS. ‘Rhode Island is leading the way in this new industry, and it is great that Rhode Islanders will be building part of this project. This is a great opportunity for SDS and other Rhode Island companies to get involved in a new field.’
Deepwater notes that this is the first of several local jobs announcements that will see Rhode Islanders playing a major role in the construction, operation and maintenance of the Block Island Wind Farm.