The Big Max cable lay vessel has completed installation of all cables for the 30MW Block Island wind farm project, including the four inter-array cables connecting the five wind turbine foundations and the export cable connecting the wind farm to a new substation on Block Island, according to Deepwater Wind.
National Grid completed the installation of the sea2shore submarine cable connection between Block Island and mainland Rhode Island in June.
With the cable laying works done, and the majority of the turbine components already waiting in the Port of Providence, the only thing missing is the five nacelles currently underway from St Nazaire, France, onboard Fred. Olsen Windcarrier’s turbine installation vessel Brave Tern.
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, Rhode Island, before traveling to the Block Island site.
The final construction phase – offshore turbine installation by Brave Tern and two Montco liftboats, the L/B Paul and the L/B Caitlin, – is scheduled to begin in early August at the project site, roughly three miles off the coast of Block Island, Rhode Island, and is expected to be completed 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.
The U.S. Coast Guard has established a 500-yard exclusion zone during offshore construction.
”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.”