The Leonardo AW169 helicopters are powered by two Pratt and Whitney PW210 series engines and are capable of crew transport as well as utilizing a hoist system to lift wind technicians to and from the top of wind turbines.
The aircraft will support crew transfer and hoisting at the South Fork Wind, Revolution Wind and Sunrise Wind offshore wind farms during construction. They will be assembled on the Leonardo Helicopters assembly line in Philadelphia, Pa.
The contract will also bring approximately $1.8 million of investment to the Quonset State Airport in North Kingstown, R.I., in the form of new infrastructure and equipment. Upgrades at the airport will include new check-in and reception spaces, handling and administrative buildings for helicopter operations and upgrades to hangar and maintenance areas.
“I am proud to see this first-of-its-kind contract take off here in Rhode Island,” says Governor Dan McKee. “The Ocean State is a leader in offshore wind energy, and this agreement will help strengthen the industry, create jobs and spur economic development, and further our sustainable, affordable, clean energy goals. I want to thank Ørsted and Eversource for their continued investment in Rhode Island and look forward to the benefits that this partnership will bring for all Rhode Islanders.”
“This helicopter contract represents just one of the many important ways the offshore wind industry is supporting manufacturing and assembly jobs and infrastructure upgrades, both in Rhode Island and across the United States,” states David Ortiz, head of Northeast government affairs and market strategy at Ørsted.
“Offshore wind has tremendous potential to create well-paying jobs in communities across the country,” comments Julia Bovey, director of offshore wind external affairs at Eversource Energy. “As we continue to transition to a new, clean energy future – one powered by the untapped potential of renewable energy – we are once again making good on our promise to help create a new supply chain here at home that will benefit American workers for years to come.”
“Rhode Island is proud to serve at the epicenter of America’s rapidly growing offshore wind sector – a sector that is constantly opening up new, interesting opportunities that drive local economies and create jobs across the country,” mentions Hilary Fagan, Rhode Island Commerce’s president and COO. “We are thrilled to see this level of investment at Quonset State Airport, and our local workforce is ready to continue leading the way as our state, region and nation move toward a clean energy future.”
Once complete, South Fork Wind, Sunrise Wind and Revolution Wind will generate approximately 1.8 GW of offshore wind power, enough to power over a million homes.
“Quonset is pleased to be selected to host helicopter operations for the joint venture wind projects currently being planned by Ørsted and Eversource,” says Steven King, P.E., managing director of the Quonset Development Corp. “This announcement reconfirms Quonset’s emerging role as one of the leading hubs for the United States offshore wind industry, which will bring innovative economic development to Rhode Island, create good paying jobs to support Rhode Island families and help the Ocean State achieve its ambitious renewable energy goals.”
“HeliService is very proud to having been awarded the U.S. Ørsted and Eversource offshore helicopter contract to support the offshore wind installations and operations at the U.S. East Coast,” states J.O. Freiland, CEO of HeliService. “With that, HeliService is the first helicopter offshore operator who is establishing itself at the U.S. East Coast. We are very much looking forward to working with Ørsted and Eversource and to supporting their operations. We wish to thank Ørsted and Eversource for their trust in HeliService.”