PROVIDENCE – The first components of Deepwater Wind’s offshore wind turbines arrived at the Port of Providence on Wednesday.
Deepwater Wind (DWW) CEO Jeff Grybowski tweeted the arrival of the firsts -first wind turbine components to arrive- for the first offshore wind farm in the country.
According to a company press release, five 95-foot tall bottom tower sections landed for off-loading to a new temporary manufacturing facility that General Electric and Deepwater Wind established at the port.
“From Providence and Quonset Point to the waters off Block Island, the Ocean State is leading the growth of a new American industry,” said Deepwater Wind CEO Jeffrey Grybowski.
“This work at ProvPort brings one of the world’s most innovative companies to the City of Providence. And, just as important, we’re putting more Rhode Islanders to work and giving them the experience they need to help grow this industry.”
GE replaces Alstom as the Block Island Wind Project turbine supplier providing the 6-megawatt Haliade 150 offshore wind turbines. A global energy provider headquartered in France, Alstom’s energy division was acquired by GE on November 2 under an acquisition billed as the biggest industrial investment GE has ever made.
“This is a major milestone for the Block Island project and for sustainable energy in the U.S. We are proud to be part of the team making it happen,” said Anders Soe-Jensen, President and CEO of GE’s offshore wind unit.
The installation of electrical, mechanical and safety equipment in the bottom tower sections is expected to occur over the next six months with the remaining sections arriving next year.
According to the release, approximately 60 local workers and multiple local contractors are slated for the turbine build process. Aladdin Electric, Bay Crane New England, Essex Newbury, E.W. Audet & Sons, Aero Mechanical Inc., Waterson Terminal Services, GZA GeoEnvironmental, VHB, and Fuss & O’Neill were named as contractors.
Union workers will be involved and employed by the project with more than 300 local workers involved overall.
“The tradesmen and woman of the RIBCTC are excited to start the manufacturing and assembly phase of the Deepwater Wind project, creating desperately needed work opportunities for our members right here in ProvPort,” said Michael F. Sabitoni, President of the Rhode Island Building and Construction Trades Council.
“The opportunity to work on a first-in-the-nation project alongside GE and Deepwater will no doubt grow our ability and workforce to be the hub for offshore wind here in the U.S.”
“We are pleased to support Deepwater Wind’s historic efforts to establish the first offshore wind warm in the United States. In addition to assisting Deepwater Wind with this project, we believe ProvPort is perfectly situated to continue to position Rhode Island as a leader in offshore wind development as we offer 3,500 feet of linear berthing space, 20 acres of open lay down area and 40’ of deep draft,” said Paul Moura, chairman of ProvPort’s Board of Directors.
Each 270-foot turbine tower consists of three sections, and weighs approximately 440 tons. Construction of the turbines is being completed at two Rhode Island sites, with the construction, staging work and vessel staging occurring at Quonset Point.
Deepwater announced it first “steel in the water”at its site approximately 3 miles southwest of Block Island in July. Initial placement of steel jacket foundations is complete and DWW said deck platforms are scheduled for completion in the coming weeks.
“Rhode Island continues to lead by example with the construction of the nation’s first offshore wind farm,” Governor Gina M. Raimondo said. “This innovative project is being assembled by local workers right here in the Ocean State. By working with our partners at Deepwater Wind and GE, we are advancing important energy and environmental goals while also creating local jobs that get Rhode Islanders back to work.”
The final components, a submarine cable that will connect Block Island and the Block Island Wind Farm with the mainland is scheduled to begin in 2016, with turbine offshore erection set for summer.
The announcement predicted wind power generation to be up and running during the fourth quarter of 2016.