By ecoRI News staff
PROVIDENCE — Parts for the Block Island Wind Farm are scheduled to arrive this week at a new waterfront manufacturing facility. The 95-foot sections of the turbine’s five towers are expected to ship to a temporary center run by multinational GE. The company, which recently acquired the offshore wind business from France-based Alstom, will build and operate the facility. Some 60 local workers will spend the next six months installing electrical, mechanical and safety equipment within the bottom tower sections. The remaining tower sections are scheduled to arrive next year.
Each of the five offshore wind towers consists of three segments, with a total height of about 270 feet, and a total weight of some 440 tons. The five turbines will reach nearly 600 feet in height when they are completed next fall.
The workers include laborers, carpenters, elevator constructors, electrical workers, ironworkers, plumbers, pipefitters, masons and engineers from local businesses, including Aladdin Electric, Bay Crane New England, Essex Newbury, E.W. Audet & Sons, Aero Mechanical Inc., Waterson Terminal Services, GZA GeoEnvironmental, VHB and Fuss & O’Neill.
“Expanding the economic opportunities at Providence’s port is a priority of mine,” Mayor Jorge Elorza said. “This announcement is an important step as we continue to expand our economy and create good jobs in our city. I am pleased too that the city was able to help ProvPort expand to accommodate this project and I am excited to welcome Deepwater Wind and GE to our waterfront.”
The 30-megawatt Deepwater Win project is roughly three miles off the coast of Block Island. Offshore construction began in July. So far, the company has completed installation of the five steel jacket foundations and pile-driving for those foundations.
Installation of the deck platforms is expected to finish in the coming weeks.
Submarine cable installation is scheduled to begin in spring 2016, with erection of the five turbines set for next summer.