Foundation Installation Starts at First Large-Scale US Offshore Wind Farm

Monopile installation work has started at the Vineyard Wind 1 site offshore Massachusetts, the first large-scale offshore wind farm in the US and the Americas.

DEME’s installation vessel Orion which, according to AIS data available online, will reach the project site today (30 May), will install the first six monopiles and accompanying transition pieces (TPs) and then move onto the installation of the foundation for the wind farm’s offshore substation. 

After the substation’s foundation is in place, the vessel will continue installing the remaining monopiles and TPs for the wind turbines.

Orion will be joined by the offshore support vessel (OSV) Atlantic Oceanic, which will deploy and recover a Big Bubble Curtain (BBC) system around pile driving operations to reduce noise.

Before each pile driving operation, the bubble curtain will be deployed on the seafloor, tested, and activated prior to the arrival of Orion to the location. Installation of each bubble curtain will take approximately two to four hours. After completion of pile driving activities, OSV Atlantic Oceanic will recover the BBC gear and bring it to the next monopile location.

At some of the foundation locations, the vessel Northstar Navigator will be deploying a secondary BBC system, as part of a pilot programme the Vineyard Wind joint venture is running in partnership with ThayerMahan. 

With the recently signed agreement with Vineyard Wind and the work now being executed, ThayerMahan, a provider of seabed surveys and acoustic mitigation and monitoring, is the first American company to provide bubble curtain services to the US offshore wind industry.

Related Article

Furthermore, during the foundation installation work, Vineyard Wind will also be conducting acoustic monitoring.

Before pile driving begins on the first monopile locations, five fixed-location bottom-mounted acoustic recording systems for Sound Field Verification (SFV) will be deployed by the fishing vessel Beth Anne at various locations.

The SFV systems will be in place approximately one hour prior to the commencement of pile driving and will remain in place throughout the full duration of the operation, before being recovered. The system is not expected to be needed during subsequent rounds of monopile installation.

The fishing vessel will be deploying a Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) system comprised of fixed buoys. The PAM will be used for real-time underwater acoustic monitoring during pile driving to characterise the presence of marine mammals by detecting vocalisations. There will be three to four buoys deployed at any given time for the required PAM operations, depending on the location of active pile driving. The buoys will be deployed and retrieved by F/V Beth Anne personnel before mobilising to the next foundation location.

The Vineyard Wind 1 project, owned by the Vineyard Wind joint venture between Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) and Avangrid, is located 15 miles (24 kilometres) off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard.

The 800 MW wind farm will feature 62 Haliade-X 13 MW turbines and is planned to start producing electricity this year.


Get in front of your target audience in one move! is read by thousands of offshore wind professionals daily.

Follow on: