Block Island

Block Island wind farm has successfully reached financial close, marking it the first offshore wind project in the USA to get realised. The mile stone was reached after over $290m investment was secured in project financing by Mandated Lead Arrangers Societe Generale of Paris, France, and KeyBank National Association of Cleveland, Ohio following more than $70m in equity funding already received by Deepwater Wind’s existing owners, principally an entity of the D.E. Shaw Group.

The 30MW wind farm is developed by Deepwater Wind Block Island, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Deepwater Wind, and will be build in the Rhode Island state waters, approximately 230km north-east of New York city and is planned to be connected via a proposed submarine cable to the landfall in Narragansett.

Block Island will have 5 Alstom Haliade 150-6.0MW wind turbines, capable of generating enough energy annually to supply to around 17,000 households. Onshore construction of the components is well under way with offshore construction of the wind farm scheduled to commence in summer 2015 and commercial operation by the end of 2016.

2 offshore wind lease areas successfully auctioned off the Massachusetts coast

OW22_spread wf 1 2At the end of January the Interior Department of the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) held a competitive auction for 2 offshore wind lease areas off the Massachusetts coast, areas OCS-A 0501, covering 166,886 acres, and OCS-A 050 with a total size of 22,239 acres. Together these lease areas have the potential of around 2GW of energy production which would be enough to supply 700,000 households. The lease area OCS-A 0501 was won by Offshore MW LLC.

The OCS-A 0500 lease area was won by RES Americas but it was announced in early April that Danish developer DONG Energy had agreed to take over the development rights for this lease area from RES Americas. The development zone is located 90km off the coast of Massachusetts in water depths ranging from 130 to 165ft.

It has a potential for 1GW of energy production. The seabed conditions are stated to be relatively similar to European projects that are planned to be constructed by DONG Energy. According to the company the cost of offshore wind has been significantly reduced for projects in Europe and the company believes the same trend is possible in the US.

The auction was the 4th competitive lease sale for renewable energy in federal waters offshore Massachusetts BOEM expects to hold another competitive lease sale offshore New Jersey later this year.

Eneco Luchterduinen

OW22_spread wf 1 3After the offshore substation for the 129MW Eneco Luchterduinen offshore wind farm was successfully installed in February the wind farm has now entered the final construction phase of the 129MW when the first of the 43 MHI Vestas Offshore Wind V112 3MW turbines was installed on 7 April.

The components, 54m blades, 62m towers and the nacelles, are produced in Esbjerg and transported and installed by Van Oord’s installation vessel Aeolus, which can carry the components for 8 turbines in one go. It takes the Aeolus around 30 hours to sail from Esbjerg to the wind farm site and approximately a day to install each turbine on the monopile foundations.

The Eneco Luchterduinen wind farm, located 23km off the Dutch coast, is planned to become operational in August this year. It will be capable to produce enough green energy to supply 150,000 households annually. Eneco Luchterduinen is a project by Japanese company Mitsubishi Corporation and Eneco Group.

Burbo Bank Extension

DONG Energy has awarded several contracts for its 258MW Burbo Bank Extension project following the final investment decision announcement in December. Burbo Bank Extension is located 8km off the coast in Liverpool Bay and will have 32 MHI Vestas VI 64-8.0 MW turbines installed.

The company awarded the foundation supply contract to German steel manufacturer EEW SPC. The company will use 3 different locations to produce the 32 foundations, consisting of monopiles and the TPs. The monopiles will be constructed at EEW SPC’s production site in Rostock, while the TPs will be produced partly by Offshore Structures Ltd., the joint venture by EEW SPC and Danish Bladt Industries A/S, at the Teesside production site in the UK and partly Bladt Industries’ facility in Aalborg, Denmark.

OW22_spread wf 1 4A joint venture comprising VolkerInfra and VBMS was awarded the contract for the export cable landfall installation work. The work scope includes two 600m duct installations, both intertidal and onshore, between Rhyl and Prestatyn at the west coast of the UK which will be executed by means of trenchless Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD). First activities are expected to start in May and by the end of September. VolkerInfra will also install the 10km onshore cable circuit to connect the export cables from DONG Energy’s onshore substation to National Grid’s Bodelwyddan 400kV onshore substation.

The onshore substation for the wind farm will be built by Balfour Beatty. The company received the £12m contract in March. Activities have started and are expected to be completed in the summer of 2016. Balfour Beatty’s regional construction business will deliver the structures and external works with Balfour Beatty Engineering Services providing the mechanical and electrical package.

Burbo Bank Extension is expected to be commissioned in 2017 supplying green power to approximately 180,000 UK households.