Deepwater Wind (Providence, R.I., USA) reported on Feb. 10 the signing of wind turbine manufacturer Alstom (Baden, Switzerland) to supply the Block Island Wind Farm with five of Alstom’s 6-MW Haliade 150 offshore wind turbines. The Block Island Wind Farm, off the coast of Rhode Island, is on track to be the first offshore wind farm in the United States.
Alstom will supply the five 6MW turbines, including tower sections, for the 30-megawatt Block Island Wind Farm, located about three miles off the coast of Block Island, R.I. In addition, under a separate agreement, Alstom will provide long-term service and maintenance responsibilities for the turbines.
Under the turbine supply contract, Deepwater Wind made an initial multi-million dollar payment to Alstom in December 2013 that allowed Alstom to begin the manufacturing process for the turbines. Specifically, Alstom has begun procurement of all 15 blades for the wind farm, which will be delivered to Deepwater Wind in Europe in April 2014.
“This agreement represents a giant leap forward for the Block Island Wind Farm, and the start of turbine construction just last month marked a major project milestone,” says Deepwater Wind CEO Jeffrey Grybowski. “We’re thrilled to have a company as renowned as Alstom as our turbine partner.”
“Deepwater Wind’s multi-million dollar payment to begin manufacturing our project’s 15 blades ensures that our project will qualify for the federal Investment Tax Credit,” Grybowski said. “When combined with engineering and permitting work we already completed, we’re confident this payment puts us significantly over the required 5 percent ‘safe harbor’ for the ITC.”
Deepwater Wind says its selection of Alstom as its turbine supplier will benefit the project in several ways:
- More efficient: Alstom’s technology will provide a significantly greater energy output than earlier anticipated. Alstom and Deepwater Wind anticipate the project’s capacity factor to exceed 47 percent, compared to initial projections of 40 percent.
- More powerful – but smaller: In addition, the turbines will provide for a reduced visual impact than earlier anticipated. The Haliade’s efficient design means that, at 589 ft/180m tall, the turbines will be about 10 percent shorter than Deepwater Wind’s maximum height allowance provided for in the company’s permit filings. Moreover, the rotors and nacelles of the turbines will be smaller than the permitted maximums.