Deepwater Wind starts operation of first offshore wind project

Deepwater Wind on Dec. 12 announced that the 30-MW Block Island Wind Farm project has completed its commissioning and testing phases and began commercial operations, marking the startup of the first commercial offshore wind farm in the United States.

Electricity generated from Block Island will serve National Grid’s New England service territory through National Grid’s new sea2shore submarine transmission cable system.

The system includes approximately 20 miles of submarine cable, five miles of underground cable, and two new substations—one on Block Island and one in Narragansett, Rhode Island.

The commercial startup was praised by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) other renewable energy advocates.

Technicians from GE Renewable Energy, which supplied the project’s five offshore wind turbines, put the wind farm through its paces during the four-month testing period. The project’s crew transfer vessel, the Rhode Island-built Atlantic Pioneer, transported technicians to the wind farm around the clock.

The historic milestone concludes the successful two-year offshore installation of the wind farm, which Deepwater Wind completed on-time and on-budget. More than 300 local workers helped develop, build and commission this historic project, Deepwater said in a news release.

Deepwater Wind’s supplier and construction partners included GE Renewable Energy, Gulf Island Fabrication, Fred. Olsen Windcarrier, LM Windpower and LS Cable, Montco Offshore, and Weeks Marine.

The project’s investors include Deepwater Wind’s principal owner, an affiliate of the D.E. Shaw group, Citi, and GE Energy Financial Services, along with lenders Societe Generale, KeyBank, HSBC, SMBC, Cobank, and La Caixa.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.