The first blades for the offshore wind project Vineyard Wind were shipped out to the construction site south of the Island on Wednesday, Sept. 7.
According to a release from the developers, a barge was loaded with three 321-foot-long blades, as well as three tower sections.
The load in total was 1,700 tons, a press release from Vineyard Wind stated.
“It may look easy, but the safe transportation of these components miles over the open water is no small feat,” Vineyard Wind CEO Klaus S. Moeller was quoted in the release. “While we’ve had many firsts, once this turbine is installed, it will stand as a proud symbol of America’s energy transition.”
Vineyard Wind is using two barges: The Marmac in New Bedford and the Foss Prevailing Wind in Boston, both 400 feet long, to ship the turbine pieces. The release says that these are the only two barges in “existence capable of transporting in an upright position” the large turbine components.
Once onsite, officials with the project say, a vessel called the Sea Installer, which measures more than 430 feet in length and 150 feet wide, will install the turbine tower sections and blades.
“Sea Installer … is a heavy-lift, jack-up crane vessel that lifts itself out of the water on legs that are over 300 feet in length,” the Vineyard Wind press release states. “Once elevated, the vessel becomes a platform where the recently upgraded crane, now capable of lifting more than 1,600 tons, can install the tower sections, nacelle, and blades for each [wind turbine generator].”
The $4 billion project is expected to generate electricity for more than 400,000 homes and businesses in the state, starting in mid-October. Sixty-two wind turbines are planned.
Construction began earlier this summer on the turbine bases. A substation has been built as well.