DEME first monopile Vineyard Wind 1

Orion Installs First Monopile at Vineyard Wind 1 Offshore Wind Farm

Offshore works have begun at the 800 MW Vineyard Wind 1 offshore wind farm in the US with the first of 62 foundations installed by DEME’s specialised floating installation vessel Orion.

DEME first monopile Vineyard Wind 1
DEME Group

Vineyard Wind 1 is the first commercial-scale offshore wind farm in the country and the first of several US wind farm projects in DEME’s portfolio.

DEME Offshore US is carrying out the transportation and installation of the monopile foundations, transition pieces, offshore substation, and scour protection, as well as the offshore substation foundation and platform.

Later, the company will also install the wind turbines.

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In February this year, EEW Special Pipe Constructions (EEW SPC) produced its heaviest monopile to date which was part of the order for the Vineyard Wind 1 offshore wind farm.

The monopile, manufactured at the Rostock site in Germany, weighs 1,895 tonnes.

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As part of the installation process, Vineyard Wind has also deployed the offshore support vessel (OSV) Atlantic Oceanic and the Northstar Navigator to deploy a primary and secondary bubble curtain which is designed to absorb and dampen sound during foundation installation.

The hoses are placed on the seafloor around the monopile before being filled by compressed air. Once the hoses are inflated, the air escapes through the perforations and creates a barrier of bubbles that reduces noise.

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.

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Three local fishing vessels, the TORBAY, SOCATEAN, and the KATHRYN MARIE will be on site to serve as safety and communication sentries. 

The Vineyard Wind 1 project is also deploying a Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) system comprised of fixed buoys. Up to four PAMs will be used for real-time underwater acoustic monitoring during pile driving to characterise the presence of marine mammals by detecting vocalisations.

The buoys will be deployed and retrieved by the fishing vessel BETH ANNE before mobilising to the next foundation location.

In addition to the existing crew, the vessel Orion is utilising local union piledrivers. The piledrivers received special training to begin this scope of work, said Vineyard Wind, a joint venture between Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) and AVANGRID.

“We can finally say it – as of today, there is ‘steel in the water. Over the next few months, we’ll be working hand in glove with the Building Trades and our contractors to ensure the work is done safely and efficiently,” said Klaus S. Moeller, CEO of Vineyard Wind.

“The Vineyard Wind project offers a generational opportunity for existing tradespeople to bring their skills to this new industry while opening career paths to the trades for residents of New Bedford and the SouthCoast,” said Frank Callahan, President of Massachusetts Building Trades Unions.


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Last month, the first shipment of turbine components for GE’s Haliade-X 13 MW turbine arrived at the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal in Massachusetts.

According to Vineyard Wind, the tower sections will be constructed at the terminal before being shipped out and installed later this summer.

“Our administration is grateful for the important work being done by Vineyard Wind, Avangrid, CIP, DEME and labor partners to bring clean, affordable energy to Massachusetts,” said Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey.

“We’re thrilled to see this historic project move one step closer to completion and committed to supporting the offshore wind industry across the state.”

The 800 MW Vineyard Wind 1 project is located 15 miles off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard.

The wind farm is expected to generate electricity for more than 400,000 homes and businesses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, create 3,600 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) job years, save customers USD 1.4 billion over the first 20 years of operation, and is expected to reduce carbon emissions by more than 1.6 million metric tons per year, the equivalent of taking 325,000 cars off the road annually.

“With the start of the foundation installation today on the nation’s first commercial scale offshore wind farm, the windmills that will power hundreds of thousands of homes are beginning to emerge from the water, a process that is creating jobs and bring us one step closer to delivering the Commonwealth’s clean energy future,” said Speaker Ronald J. Mariano.

“The House will continue to work towards making Massachusetts a national leader in the offshore wind industry, as we work to play our role in addressing the climate crisis.”

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

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