WMJV to install Cape Wind turbines

The developer of Cape Wind has contracted with US joint venture Weeks/Manson (WMJV) to install an initial 101 wind turbines for America’s first commercial offshore project south of Cape Cod.

Cape Wind Associates, part of Boston-based Energy Management Inc. (EMI), did not make public financial terms of the deal.

WMJV is a partnership between two of the leading US marine construction firms: Weeks Marine of Cranford, New Jersey, and Manson Construction Company of Seattle, Washington.

WMJV will install the turbines with a fleet of vessels including the RD MacDonald, the first special purpose offshore wind installation vessel built in the US.

"This project will combine the best of American maritime suppliers, engineers and constructors with the most experienced European technology providers to ensure America's first offshore wind farm performs to world class standards," says Cape Wind President Jim Gordon.

The RD MacDonald is a jack-up barge that will be able to transport three wind turbines at one time and will have racks to carry the turbine blades.

"The RD MacDonald is an important early link in the domestic supply chain to service the U.S. offshore wind industry and Cape Wind will be putting this vessel to work for the first time,” says Rick Palmer, vice president of Weeks Marine and WMJV project director.

Cape Wind also announced that Fall River Electrical Associates based in Massachusetts will be a subcontractor to WMJV and will perform electric outfitting work for the project.

Cape Wind is a 468MW facility with a 363.3MW first stage.  EMI hopes to complete construction in the second half of 2016.

The US Energy Department last month made a conditional $150m loan guarantee commitment for Cape Wind. EMI expects to finalize project financing in the fourth quarter.

To date, three banks – the Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi, Rabobank and Natixis – have collectively committed “in excess of $400m” to the project; Danish export bank EKF has committed $600m; PensionDanmark has committed $200m in mezzanine debt; and Siemens may take a $100m equity stake.

Project owner Energy Management Inc. (EMI) has not made public first stage cost. The State of Massachusetts several years ago estimated full project cost at $2.6bn.

The project has qualified for the 30% federal investment tax credit based on capital investment