America’s First Offshore Wind Project Begins Commercial Operations

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Deepwater Wind’s 30 MW, 5 turbine offshore wind project, 3 miles off the coast of Block Island, Rhode Island has begun commercial operations.  The project went through a 4-month testing phase before being fully commissioned in mid-December 2016.  Each Haliade 6 MW direct drive turbine stands roughly 300 feet above the water.  The turbines were manufactured by General Electric with the technology recently entering General Electric’s portfolio via. its recent purchase of Alstom’s renewable energy assets.

Power from the $300 million project flows from Block Island to the mainland of Rhode Island via. an undersea cable which was built especially for the project.  Connecting Block Island to the mainland allowed Block Island to retire its costly diesel generators.  The project will generate 125,000 megawatt-hours of electricity- enough to meet 90% of Block Island’s power needs.

The project’s investors include Deepwater Wind’s owner, D.E. Shaw, Citi, and GE Energy Financial Services, along with various lenders including Societe Generale, KeyBank, HSBC, SMBC, Cobank, and La Caixa.

Duke Energy will provide 24/hour monitoring and control services for the project.

 

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Source: GE

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