Block Island Wind Farm Now Fully Financed

By ecoRI News staff

Deepwater Wind has fully financed the Block Island Wind Farm by recently securing more than $290 million in financing from Joint Initial Mandated Lead Arrangers Societe Generale of Paris and KeyBank National Association of Cleveland, according to company officials.

With these major agreements, Deepwater Wind has now secured all debt and equity funding needed to erect and operate its five-turbine, 30-megawatt Block Island Wind Farm. Deepwater Wind is the only U.S. offshore wind company to reach this critical milestone, and the Block Island Wind Farm will likely be America’s first offshore wind farm.

“We at Societe Generale are proud to be a partner of Deepwater Wind,” said Alexander Krolick, director of energy project finance in the Americas at Societe Generale. “Deepwater has assembled a world-class management team and experienced contractors to develop this landmark project.”

The financing from Societe Generale and KeyBank is in addition to more than $70 million in equity funding already provided by Deepwater Wind’s existing owners, principally an entity of the D.E. Shaw Group.

Construction is well underway:

Alstom will supply five Haliade 150 6-megawatt offshore wind turbines for the project and has already completed the fabrication in Denmark of all 15 blades for the project.

Gulf Island Fabrication Inc. began fabrication work in January at its facilities in Houma, La., on the wind farm’s five steel jacket foundations. That work is scheduled to be complete in several months.

Rhode Island-based Specialty Diving Services is expected to begin additional fabrication work on components of the foundation substructures at Quonset in the coming weeks.

“Steel in the water” is planned for this summer, when all five foundations are scheduled for installation off the Block Island coast. The project will be in-service in the fourth quarter of 2016, according to Deepwater Wind CEO Jeffrey Grybowski.

“We are on the cusp of bringing offshore wind from theory to reality in the U.S.,” Grybowski said. “We’ve brought together some of the best American and European expertise to build an outstanding project and finance team. We’re poised to launch a new American clean-tech industry, and it all starts here with our work on the Block Island Wind Farm.”