Cape Wind awards cable contracts

Cape Wind says it has awarded a supply contract for intra-array and export power cables for its 130-turbine offshore project to Prysmian Cables and Systems USA, and another contract to Caldwell Marine International for their installation.

Financial terms of the deals were not made public.They mark a milestone in the developer's 12-year effort to get the 468MW project financed and built.

"I am pleased that Prysmian Cables and Systems USA and Caldwell Marine International will play important roles in helping build Cape Wind. They are capable companies that will help establish a domestic offshore wind supply chain," says Cape Wind President Jim Gordon.

Prysmian will manufacture the transmission cables at its High Voltage manufacturing facility based in Abbeville, South Carolina.

Prysmian will install the onshore cables in a series of duct banks between the point of landfall and the electric grid interconnection at the NSTAR Barnstable substation. The duct banks will constructed by Falmouth-based Lawrence-Lynch Corp. under an agreement Cape Wind previously announced.

New Jersey-based Caldwell will install the submarine intra array and export cables using specialized vessels and equipment.

"This is an opportunity for our company to become part of the supply chain of this new domestic offshore wind industry," says Caldwell Marine International President Rolando Acosta.

Cape Wind in recent months has signed contracts with suppliers including Siemens for the turbines and Cianbro for the electric service platform and substructure.

The state of Massachusetts has estimated a $2.6bn price tag for the project to be located in Nantucket Sound south of Cape Cod.

Cape Wind says it has qualified for the federal renewable electricity investment tax credit which reduces federal income taxes for qualified project owners based on capital investment measured in dollars.

Cape Wind, owned by Energy Management Inc. (EMI) in Boston, also has applied for a $500m US Energy Department loan guarantee.

Two utilities have committed to purchase a combined 77.5% of project nameplate capacity, which 101 turbines would generate. EMI is looking for buyers for the balance.