French cable-maker Nexans will supply up to 1,000km of export line for offshore wind developers Eversource and Orsted under the largest framework deal of its kind to be done so far in the emerging US Atlantic play.
The Paris-headquartered contractor, which will invest in its high voltage cable manufacturing plant in the state of South Carolina to meet the order, will lay the lines using it in-construction Aurora vessel, with deliveries expected to 2027.
“Our partnership with Orsted and Eversource will accelerate the energy transition in North America. Nexans’ advanced subsea cables will contribute both to the overall performance and to increasing the energy efficiency of Ørsted’s projects,” said Vincent Dessale, senior executive vice president of Nexans’ subsea and land systems business.
The cable factory, in Charleston, will be the first in the US to manufacture subsea high-voltage cables such as currently used in the Europe offshore wind market.
The Aurora, being built at the CRIST shipyard in Gdynia, Poland , will be ready for service in 2021, Nexans confirmed to Recharge, with first cable-laying operations slated for 2022.
Eversource and Orsted are currently partnering 50-50 on five developments off the US East Coast: Sunrise Wind, Revolution Wind, South Fork, Bay State Wind and Constitution Wind.
Power off-take awards include Sunrise Wind (880MW), Revolution Wind (704MW) and South Fork (130MW). These projects will be located in Orsted's Deepwater ONE lease area in federal waters off the coasts of Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
Bay State Wind is a proposed initial 800MW project that would be sited in a lease area south of Martha's Vineyard island off the southern coast of Massachusetts.
Constitution Wind is an initial 400MW project proposal that would be located in another lease area Orsted controls south of the one Bay State would utilise.
The US offshore wind has in the last four years transitioned from a solitary five-turbine pilot project operating off Rhode Island, the 30MW Block Island, into a potential major new source of clean, cost-competitive energy for the nation’s most populous coastal states, with industry forecasts suggesting capacity could grow to as much as 16GW by 2030.