Turbine Foundation Installation Begins at Vineyard Wind 1


Monopiles and transition pieces are being installed at Vineyard Wind 1, the first commercial-scale offshore wind farm in the U.S., located 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard.

A joint venture between Avangrid Inc. and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, the 800 MW project is expected to generate electricity for more than 400,000 homes and businesses in Massachusetts.

“There is ‘steel in the water,’” says Vineyard Wind CEO Klaus S. Moeller. “Over the next few months, we’ll be working hand in glove with the building trades and our contractors to ensure the work is done safely and efficiently.”

The heavy lift vessel Orion, operated by DEME, the Belgium-based offshore energy, dredging and marine infrastructure contractor, will collaborate with a team of ships throughout the summer, installing 62 foundations in the wind development area. In addition to its crew, the Orion is utilizing local union pile drivers specially trained to undertake this work.

As part of the installation process, two offshore supply vessels, the Atlantic Oceanic and Northstar Navigator, will deploy a primary and secondary bubble curtain. A bubble curtain, which comprises large, perforated hoses and specialized air compressors, is designed to absorb and dampen sound during foundation installation. 

Three local fishing vessels, the Torbay, Socatean and the Kathryn Marie, will be onsite to serve as safety and communication sentries.

The project is also deploying a passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) system comprised of fixed buoys. Up to four PAMs will be used for real-time underwater acoustic monitoring during pile driving to observe the presence of marine mammals by detecting vocalizations. The buoys will be deployed and retrieved by the F/V Beth Anne before mobilizing to the next foundation location.

“The offshore wind industry has officially landed in Massachusetts waters, and we’re excited for what comes next,” says Rebecca Tepper, secretary of the state’s Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. “Each of these 62 platforms forms the foundation of our clean, affordable energy future. I want to congratulate the workers who are making this possible.”

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