Deepwater to purchase 6-megawatt turbines for Block Island project

Sun, 10/16/2011 - 12:30pm

Deepwater Wind announced that it has signed an agreement with Siemens Energy to buy five 6.0-megawatt direct drive turbines for deployment in the Block Island Wind Farm proposed for within three miles of the island’s southeast shore.

This will be the first project in the United States, and one of the first anywhere in the world, to use the new turbine, which could have a rotar diameter of up to 550 feet with the tip of the blade reaching as high as 600 feet above sea level. The final technical specifications have not been officially stated.

“We’ve been anticipating using the largest possible turbine for this project,” Block Island Project Manager Bryan Wilson said. “The idea is to use the best state-of-the-art turbine we can, but also one that will be reliable, which is why we chose Siemens Energy.”

Siemens has more than 20 years of project experience and more than 2,000 megawatts of installed capacity in European waters alone, according to a Deepwater Wind statement.

“The Siemens turbine is the future of offshore wind, and our partnership with Siemens is a huge advancement and advantage for the Block Island Wind Farm,” said William M. Moore, CEO of Deepwater Wind. “Not only is Siemens one of the leading technology firms in the world, but they have now agreed to supply Deepwater Wind with their very latest wind turbine technology, one that will move our entire industry forward.”

The type of turbine used is a key component in the engineering and permitting phases of the Block Island project. The company will individually design jacket structures for the turbines to sit on. The entire project will be capable of producing 30 megawatts of power, which it is limited to by the Rhode Island legislature.

“We are extremely excited to partner with Deepwater Wind, one of the leading developers of offshore wind in North America,” said Mark Albenze, CEO of the Americas Business Unit of Siemens Energy’s Wind Power Division. “This agreement with Deepwater Wind shows that the offshore wind industry is gaining momentum in the U.S. and we look forward to contributing to the development of this unique project with our outstanding experience.”

The turbines will not make it to the island until the construction phase, possibly in 2013 or 2014. The timing of construction is dependent on the permitting process and final turbine specifications, as well as current legal challenges.