Deepwater signs Fred Olsen for pilot

Developer Deepwater Wind has selected Fred Olsen Windcarrier to provide the vessel that will install five of Alstom’s 6MW wind turbines for the pilot 30MW offshore Block Island project.

Deepwater describes Fred Olsen Windcarrier’s self-propelled jack-up vessel Bold Tern as one of the world’s most advanced installation vessels.

"We are very pleased to add Fred Olsen Windcarrier to our world-class team for the Block Island Wind Farm,” says Deepwater Wind chief executive Jeffrey Grybowski, adding that the company “brings deep experience in offshore construction and high standards of excellence to the work they do.”

The Bold Tern is due to start work in the third quarter of 2016 on the 65-day assignment.

Fred Olsen Windcarrier previously installed Alstom’s Haliade 150-6MW turbine at Belgium’s Belwind 1 demonstration project.

“We are truly delighted to be installing this significant project which is driving forward the offshore wind industry in the United States,” says Ketil Arvesen, vice president of Fred Olsen Windcarrier.

The wind farm will be located in state waters 2.5 nautical miles southeast of Block Island, which is situated about 14.9 nautical miles from Rhode Island.

Deepwater has a 20-year PPA for the project with utility National Grid, with a starting price of 24.4 cents per kWh. There is an annual 3.5% inflation adjustment after then.

Deepwater estimates the wind farm will generate over 100,000MWh annually, supplying the majority of Block Island’s electricity needs.  The island’s roughly 1,100 residents pay among the highest electric rates in the US as there are no generating facilities there.

Excess power will be exported to the mainland.