National Grid Kicks Off Block Island OWF Connection Works

National Grid has begun working on the infrastructure that will connect the first American offshore wind farm to the network.

Photo: Deepwater Wind

The utility, which will own and operate the USD 107 million connection, has started with test borings on both Block Island and Rhode Island, where the onshore infrastructure will be built to connect Deepwater Wind’s Block Island offshore wind farm to the grid.

“We will soon begin construction of the mainland underground conduit through which a power line connected to the cable will run to a nearby switching station, which will be built in the coming months, and then to a distribution substation in our system,” David Graves, National Grid’s spokesman, told Offshore WIND.

Graves said that similar work will begin at Block Island soon, where the wind farm’s connecting cable will be linked to a switching station, which will also be built by National Grid. From there, an underground power cable will run to a new substation where Block Island Power Co., the Island’s power distribution company, will receive power from the mainland.

The installation of a 20-mile (approx. 32 km) subsea cable that will connect Block Island with the mainland will start in the spring, and the project is scheduled to be completed in late 2016.

Deepwater Wind completed the first offshore construction season at the wind farm’s site in November 2015, and will commence work again in the spring, with turbine installation set to take place in the summer.

The offshore wind farm is expected to be operational by the end of this year.

Offshore WIND Staff