WSP to re-design Vineyard Wind wind turbine foundations

WSP USA will carry out a re-design of the wind turbine foundations for the Vineyard Wind offshore wind farm in Massachusetts.

Following recent permitting changes, Vineyard Wind modified the turbine layout and the U.S.-based engineering consultancy will now work on the re-design, after having provided the foundation design services prior to the changes to the project.

The scope includes design of the primary steel, secondary steel and electrical components for the monopiles and transition pieces.

In a press release from 5 October, WSP said it would deliver a cost-effective design solution for the project together with its subcontractor partners Wood Thilsted, a specialist structural and geotechnical engineering consultancy, and C2Wind, an offshore wind power design consultancy.

The 800 MW Vineyard Wind will feature MHI Vestas 9.5 MW turbines, installed some 22.5 kilometres south of Martha’s Vineyard and 56 kilometres off the coast of the Massachusetts mainland.

After the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Vineyard Wind project was published, and in response to stakeholder feedback, the developer and other Rhode Island and Massachusetts offshore wind leaseholders committed to implementing grid layout with a spacing of one nautical mile (1 NM) between the wind turbines.

In June, the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) issued a Supplement to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for Vineyard Wind, which also contains some new alternatives for the wind farm layout that propose a wider transit lane, either a 2 NM or a 4 NM one. These options would require relocating more wind turbines compared to the initial layout proposal, than the 1×1 NM array.

Following the SEIS release, the industry voiced its opposition to the new layout alternatives, saying that the 1×1 NM layout, agreed to by all New England offshore wind leaseholders, provides ample and uniform navigation transit lanes, and that this was larger spacing than in any other wind facility currently operating in the world. The 1×1 NM grid layout has also been determined by the U.S. Coast Guard as the one to “maximize safe navigation”, the industry pointed out.