Federal agencies ready approval for Deepwater Wind project

file

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) intend to issue an incidental harassment authorization for the Deepwater Wind Block Island LLC project.

The agencies will publish a notice in the March 25 Federal Register seeking comment on that tentative decision.
NMFS has received an application from Deepwater Wind Block Island LLC (DWBI) for an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to take marine mammals incidental to development of the Block Island Wind Farm.

On March 11, 2013, NMFS received an application from DWBI for the taking of marine mammals incidental to construction of the project. The application went through a series of revisions and the final version was submitted on Oct. 17, 2013.

DWBI proposes to develop the Block Island Wind Farm (BIWF), a 30-MW offshore wind farm. The proposed activity could begin in late 2014 and last through late 2015. The following specific aspects of the proposed activities are likely to result in the take of marine mammals: impact pile driving and the use of dynamically positioned (DP) vessel thrusters.

Take, by Level B Harassment only, of individuals of nine species is anticipated to result from this activity.

The BIWF will consist of five, 6-MW wind turbine generators (WTGs), a submarine cable interconnecting the WTGs, and a transmission cable. Construction of the BIWF will involve the following activities: cable landfall construction on Block Island via a short-distance horizontal directional drill (HDD) from an excavated trench box located on Crescent Beach, Block Island; jacket foundation installation; inter-array and export cable installation; and WTG installation.

Construction staging and laydown for offshore construction is planned to occur at the Quonset Point port facility in North Kingstown, Rhode Island. The WTGs will be located on average of about 4.8 kilometers (km) southeast of Block Island, and about 25.7 km south of the Rhode Island mainland.

Alstom announced Feb. 10 a contract to supply five Haliade 150-6 MW offshore wind turbines for this project of Deepwater Wind LLC. The project will be one of the first offshore wind farms in the U.S. and will be the first to feature Alstom's Haliade 150-6 MW - the largest turbine installed in offshore waters today. The five turbines will produce approximately 125,000 MWh of electricity a year.

The Block Island project could lead to a larger utility-scale offshore wind farm of more than 1 GW supported by a regional transmission system linking Long Island, New York and Southeastern New England, said Alstom.

Deepwater Wind is a Providence, Rhode Island-based offshore wind developer. The company is actively planning offshore wind projects to serve multiple East Coast markets located 15 to 25 miles offshore, including Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey.

This article was republished with permission from GenerationHub.

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