Wind Turbine Components Arrive as Offshore Work Starts for Vineyard 1
In another sign that the U.S.’s ambitions to catch up and start its offshore wind power industry are finally showing progress, the first turbine components for the Vineyard Wind project off Massachusetts arrived at the terminal in New Bedford while offshore work is scheduled to start in days. Company and government officials were on hand to mark the clear sign of progress for what is expected to be the first commercial-scale offshore wind farm in the United States.
The heavy lift vessel UHL Felicity arrived in New Bedford on May 24 carrying the components, the first load for the wind farm which will consist of 62 wind turbines. The project is using General Electric Haliade-X turbines, each capable of generating 13 megawatts of electricity, with a total output of 800 MW. The wind farm is to be located 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard and is scheduled to begin producing power before the end of 2023.
The tower sections for the turbines will be arriving in three sections. Once onshore in New Bedford, they will be staged at the terminal and partially assembled. They will be shipped out to the site on specialized barges with installation scheduled to begin this summer.
“After a long road, the first day of component arrival is finally here,” said Vineyard Wind CEO Klaus Moeller. “This is a great milestone for New Bedford, Vineyard Wind, and the country. We’ve been working together with Mayor Mitchell for years to achieve this and are now finally seeing the result. I am proud to introduce this technology to the US and to see the many jobs that this industry will create in action on the site to today.”
Work is accelerating at the site as company officials note that the project which is years in the planning is finally moving into construction and becoming a reality. Vineyard 1 is being developed in a joint venture between Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) and AVANGRID. The company also reported that DEME's installation vessel the Orion is due to start the installation of the first six monopile foundations and accompanying transition pieces on May 29. After the initial foundation work, the Orion will shift to the substation installation and then return to the additional monopiles. Work is due to be completed by December.
“The arrival of turbine components for the Vineyard Wind project represents the clearest manifestation yet of what we’ve been working on for more than a decade, namely, to position New Bedford as the leading offshore wind port on the East Coast,” said New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell. The mayor noted that it was fitting to see the industry developing in New Bedford, which in the 19th century was also a hub in the energy industry as the leading whaling port in the United States.
While the companies were marking the delivery of the first components into the United States, in Denmark they were also marking the send-off of other key elements for Vineyard 1. The 3,200-ton substation for the wind farm was completed and departed from Semco Maritime’s facility along with a 2,000 tons jacket foundation with four piles, which form the permanent anchorage to the seabed. These components were loaded aboard a heavy lift vessel and are being shipped to Massachusetts. Vineyard will oversee the installation and Semco Maritime and Bladt Industries will oversee the offshore commissioning during the summer.