United States

United States

Tower assembly begins at 'game-changing' Block Island

UNITED STATES: Executives from Deepwater Wind and GE tour Block Island's base port as tower assembly begins for the US' first offshore project.

A GE Haliade nacelle leaves the factory in Saint Nazaire, France
A GE Haliade nacelle leaves the factory in Saint Nazaire, France

GE's arrival in the offshore market will increasingly be showcased as assembly and construction proceeds for Deepwater Wind's 30MW Block Island project. Currently under construction off New England, north-east US, Block Island is America's first offshore project.

US-based engineering conglomorate GE is providing five 6MW Haliade turbines, the first commercial rollout of the rebranded Haliade turbines, acquired by the manufacturer following its takeover of French firm Alstom's power business in November.

"We know [GE is] a world-class company ... it is critical for us in the United States to have a US manufacturer of offshore turbines," Deepwater CEO Jeffrey Grybowski said during a tour of the dockside tower assembly in Providence, Rhode Island on 18 March.

"It's a game-changing difference in our business."

The US offshore wind sector has been slow to start compared with Europe's, which had more than 11GW installed at the end of 2015.

Grybowski was accompanied by Anders Soe-Jensen, CEO of GE's new France-headquartered offshore wind division, and Rhode Island governor Gina Raimondo.

Components

They viewed assembly of the towers, made in Spain by Windar and transported in sections. Blades, manufactured in Denmark by LM Wind Power, will arrive at the port in late May or early June.

Nacelles and generators made by GE in Saint-Nazaire in France will be installed at the site starting in August, along with the towers and blades

The jacket foundations are already in place at Rhode Island Sound, completed in November. Block Island is scheduled to be online by the end of 2016.

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