First U.S. offshore wind farm enters final construction

The Block Island Wind Farm remains on-schedule to be fully constructed this summer and commissioned this fall.

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Deepwater Wind will soon embark on the final stage of construction of the Block Island Wind Farm. Installation of the Block Island Wind Farm’s turbine towers, blades and nacelles is scheduled to begin in early August at the project site, roughly three miles off the coast of Block Island, Rhode Island.

The Block Island Wind Farm – America’s first offshore wind farm – remains on-schedule to be fully constructed this summer and commissioned this fall.

“It’s go time,” said Deepwater Wind CEO Jeffrey Grybowski. “We’re ready to bring this historic project across the finish line. This is sure to be a momentous summer – not just for this project, but also for the start of a new American industry.”

All 15 turbine tower sections and 15 blades, supplied by GE Renewable Energy and its blade manufacturer LM Wind Power, have been delivered to ProvPort, in Providence. These components will be shuttled from ProvPort to the project site by two Montco Offshore liftboats – the L/B Paul and the L/B Caitlin – that arrived at Quonset Point earlier this month.

GE has completed manufacturing of all turbine components. The last major components to be completed – the five nacelles – began their journey across the Atlantic from the manufacturing facility in St. Nazaire, France, to the project site on July 15.

The nacelles are being transported by Fred. Olsen Windcarrier’s Brave Tern, an offshore wind installation vessel. The Brave Tern is expected to arrive in Rhode Island by early August, and will first undergo U.S. Coast Guard inspections at its bunkering position in the southern area of Narragansett Bay, near Newport, R.I., before traveling to the Block Island site.

The final construction phase – offshore turbine installation by Fred. Olsen Windcarrier’s Brave Tern and the two Montco liftboats – will take roughly one month and is expected to finish by early September.

GE technicians will commission the wind turbines, a process that will start during offshore installation and take several months. The Block Island Wind Farm’s crew transfer vessel, Atlantic Wind Transfer’s Atlantic Pioneer, will transport these technicians to the wind farm. The wind farm will be in commercial operations once commissioning is complete.