Deepwater Wind, a Providence, Rhode Island-based offshore wind developer, Tuesday announced that it has signed an agreement with Siemens Energy to buy the company’s latest offshore wind turbines for deployment in its Block Island Wind Farm.
Under the agreement, Siemens will supply five of its new 6.0-megawatt direct drive offshore wind turbines for the Block Island Wind Farm. This will be the first project in the United States, and one of the first anywhere in the world, to use the new turbine, which will be commercially available for the project, according to a press release.
“The Siemens turbine is the future of offshore wind, and our partnership with Siemens is a huge advancement and advantage for the Block Island Wind Farm,” William M. Moore, CEO of Deepwater Wind, said. “Not only is Siemens one of the leading technology firms in the world, but they have now agreed to supply Deepwater Wind with their very latest wind turbine technology, one that will move our entire industry forward.”
The company describes the Block Island Wind Farm as a 30-megawatt “demonstration-scale offshore wind farm.” It will be located approximately three miles southeast of Block Island, consisting of 5 to 6 turbines. The wind farm is located entirely in Rhode Island state waters. It is expected to generate over 100,000 megawatt hours annually, supplying the majority of Block Island’s electricity needs, the company said. Deepwater Wind plans to commence site preparation in late 2012 and to commence commercial operations in 2013.
On a larger scale, Friday, the company officially submitted a plan to develop a utility-scale offshore wind farm off the coasts of Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The application was in response to the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE)’s call for Information and nominations for offshore wind energy projects in the federal ocean waters off southern New England.
Deepwater Wind’s project — the Deepwater Wind Energy Center (DWEC) — will be the first of the “second generation” of offshore wind farms in the United States. With a capacity of approximately 1,000 megawatts, DWEC will serve as a regional offshore wind energy center serving multiple states on the East Coast, according to a press release.
“The Deepwater Wind Energy Center is poised to be the first regional offshore wind energy center in the United States with a wind farm and a transmission system serving multiple markets,” CEO Moore said.
DWEC will be sited in the deep ocean waters of southern Rhode Island Sound, where it will be barely visible from the shore, according to the company. Construction is planned to begin in 2014 or 2015, with the first wind turbines in operation by the end of 2016 or 2017.
Deepwater Wind plans to market power from DWEC to several states, including Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, and Connecticut.
Most of the turbines will be located 20-25 miles from shore. No turbine will be located any closer than 13.8 miles from inhabited land, with only a few turbines located at that distance, the company said. “At these distances, the wind farm will be barely visible from the shore and the project site can take advantage of the stronger winds found in the open ocean.”