Construction begins for first U.S. offshore wind farm

The Block Island Wind Farm, off the coast of Rhode Island, is on track to start spinning in 2016.

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Deepwater Wind Block Island, a wholly owned subsidiary of Deepwater Wind (Providence, R.I., US), has secured the financing needed to construct and operate its 30-megawatt Block Island Wind Farm off the coast of Rhode Island, which is already under construction.

Deepwater Wind is the only United States offshore wind company to reach this milestone. The Block Island Wind Farm will be America’s first offshore wind farm. 

Wind turbine manufacturer Alstom (Baden, Switzerland) will supply five Haliade 150 6MW offshore wind turbines for the project and has already completed the fabrication in Denmark of all 15 blades for the project.

Gulf Island Fabrication (Houston, TX, US) began fabrication work in January 2015 at its facilities in Houma, LA, on the wind farm’s five steel jacket foundations. That work is scheduled to be complete in several months.

Specialty Diving Services will provide additional fabrication work on components of the foundation substructures at Quonset, RI.

“Steel in the water” is planned for this summer, when all five foundations are scheduled for installation off the Block Island coast. The project will be in-service in the fourth quarter of 2016.

“We’re ecstatic to reach financial close and thrilled to be partners with Societe Generale and KeyBank for this groundbreaking clean energy project,” said Deepwater Wind CEO Jeffrey Grybowski. “We’re full speed ahead and moving ever closer to ‘steel in the water.’”

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