Block Island Wind Farm is historic

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For the past year I have had an up close and personal perspective of the construction of the Block Island Wind Farm. Watching the project go from theory to reality has been extraordinary to witness. No matter how you feel about the installation of wind farms, it is historic.

Within the next few days a large crane will lift and deliver 400 tons of steel into the water at a precise GPS guided location to construct the first of five wind turbine foundations. This moment is what Deepwater Wind, the company responsible for constructing the offshore wind farm, has described as “steel in the water,” and will mark a major milestone for the company.

The five turbine, 30-megawatt pilot project, which will be located three miles off of the southeast of Block Island, will be the first offshore wind farm constructed in the nation. Once it’s operational in the fall of 2016 it will provide enough energy to power 17,000 residential homes.

Deepwater Wind has blazed a new path by creating the permitting process and business model for building offshore wind farms in this country. Some say this $290 million pilot project has opened the door to spark and invite investment in the U.S. wind farm business.

I’ve written numerous articles on the subject, and will continue to write even more as I follow the evolution of the project from concept to its completion. Here are the stories that I’ve penned for The Block Island Times:

Approved

Fully funded

First Peek at Wind Farm

Wind farm fuels heated Town Council debate

EUTG: Wind Farm will “fundamentally change” electricity supply

Wind Farm “needs to be perfect”

RIFF wins Deepwater Wind (transfer vessel) contract

National Grid details wind farm cable process

National Grid ready for challenge

National Grid greets B.I. community

Wind Farm components en route

B.I. Wind Farm construction begins

Foundation One installation photos

Wind farm becomes island attraction

Deepwater Wind reaches milestone

A ‘Big moment for Block Island’

Deepwater Wind forges offshore wind energy path

RIFF excited about offshore wind business

B.I. Wind Farm: Fact vs. Fiction

B.I. Wind Farm project sees first on-island activity

Block Island seeks partner for broadband network

B.I. Wind Farm taking shape in the sea

A new kind of boat (L/B Robert) in our waters

B.I. Wind Farm foundations installed

B.I. Wind Farm safety measures critiqued

BIPCo: ‘Things are changing’

B.I. Wind Farm upgrades safety oversight

BIPCo sells land to accommodate substations

B.I. Wind Farm barge breaks loose

B.I. Wind Farm foundations completed

B.I. Wind Farm decks installed

Masters student writing thesis on B.I. Wind Farm

B.I. Wind Farm construction completed (for now)

Study: offshore wind farms can mitigate hurricanes

Gearing up for National Grid

Wind farm cable installation begins

National Grid teams deployed for cable installation

Deepwater CEO ‘confident’

Cable may lack extra capacity

A new American industry

Wind Farm vessel unveiled

Wind farm turbine towers revealed

National Grid constructing cofferdam

A first glimpse at the towers

Town investing in broadband network

Utility vessel to clear submarine cable route

National Grid asks Council for extension

National Grid rejects town’s offer on extension

Wind farm vessel christened

National Grid rebuffs town’s offer

URI Masters student presents wind farm thesis

National Grid to meet original deadline

Deepwater Wind cable installation begins

Beach cable work to continue into June

Deepwater Wind connects its cable

Cable connects island to wind farm

Cable headed to island

National Grid granted June 30 extension

Students tours B.I. Wind Farm

Cable lands on island (at Crescent Beach)

National Grid is off the beach

Block Island gets connected

The Block Island Wind Farm’s unique equipment

Final wind farm components en route

National Grid substation underway

Wind farm to be tested in September

Wind farm turbine installation begins

Construction completed, wind farm enters final phases

Wind farm blades turn for first time

Wind farm to deliver power in January

Storm delays wind farm commissioning

Block Island Wind Farm is operational

Wind farm begins commercial operation

Officials react to wind farm going live

BI Wind Farm to power Block Island by April

You can learn more about the Block Island Wind Farm and Deepwater Wind here.

An image of the first steel foundation components sitting on a barge three miles off the southeast coast of Block Island. Photo by Paul Maloney

Wind farm (Maloney)

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