Green light for America’s first offshore wind farm

US developer Deepwater Wind has given its installer the official go-ahead to proceed with what will be the first commercial offshore wind farm in the US.

Alstom will install and maintain five 6MW turbines, about three miles off the coast of Rhode Island. The project, called Block Island, aims to have steel in the water by the summer with a view to commencing commercial service in the fourth quarter of 2016.

“This is a major milestone and the confirmation that this project, will now materialise” said Yves Rannou, senior vice-president for wind at Alstom, the French manufacturer.

“We believe this project will highlight both the commercial and technological viability of offshore wind in the US and we are proud to be part of the team making it happen,” said Alstom senior vice-president for offshore wind Anders Soe-Jensen. 

“This is the start of a new chapter in sustainable energy for the US.”

Deepwater announced last week that it had secured $290m in financing from two private banks. In addition to supplying, installing and commissioning the five turbines for the project, Alstom will provide 15 years of operations and maintenance support.

German takeoff

In related offshore wind news, the market in Germany is breaking new ground, with economic development agency Germany Trade & Invest confirming that at least 78 new turbines are expected to be connected to the grid this year.

Esther Frey, wind energy market expert at Germany Trade & Invest, said: “The German offshore wind market is really taking off. We expect 3GW of offshore capacity to be feeding in to the grid by the end of 2015 – even more will be installed awaiting connection. This continues the positive trend from last year when more than 5GW of new on and offshore capacity started delivering clean power to the grid.”

Earlier today (10 March), edie reported on the burgeoning European offshore wind market and the UK’s notable prominence within it.

Brad Allen

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