Block Island Offshore Wind Facility Begins Commercial Operations

By Editors of Power Engineering

Deepwater Wind’s Block Island Wind Farm has become the first offshore wind farm to deliver energy to the United States.

The company officially commissioned the five turbine, 30-MW development this month. Energy produced will be transmitted by National Grid’s new sea2shore submarine transmission cable system.

Block Island was built with the help of GE Renewable Energy, which also supplied the project’s wind turbines. The testing period ran four months, though one of the turbines encountered a minor technical problem.

Crew for the facility’s two-year development were transferred via the vessel Atlantic Pioneer.

The project’s investors include Deepwater Wind’s principal owner, an affiliate of the D.E. Shaw group, Citi, and GE Energy Financial Services, along with lenders Societe Generale, KeyBank, HSBC, SMBC, Cobank, and La Caixa.

Deepwater estimated the full offshore wind potential in the United States could be as much as four times the generating capacity of the current grid.

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