Deepwater signs contract with Alstom to manufacture turbines

Mon, 02/17/2014 - 3:00pm

Deepwater Wind announced on Monday, Feb. 10, that it has signed a final contract with the French-based company Alstom to manufacture the turbines for the proposed Block Island wind farm.

Alstom has signed an agreement with Deepwater to manufacture five “Haliade 150” turbines, which will generate six megawatts (MW) of energy at any given moment and have a 150-meter diameter rotor, according to Deepwater CEO Jeff Grybowski.

Grybowski told The Block Island Times that Deepwater has paid Alstom for the turbines, and the turbine blades are currently under construction.

“We made a multimillion dollar payment to Alstom in December to commission the production of all 15 blades of this project,” said Grybowski. “All blades will be completed and delivered to Deepwater in Europe by end of this year.” Each turbine has three blades.

Grybowski added that the payment made to Alstom allows Deepwater to qualify for federal tax credits referred to as Investment Tax Credits (ITCs), which required Deepwater to spend 5 percent of its capital costs by the end of 2013.

“This agreement represents a giant leap forward for the Block Island Wind Farm, and the start of turbine construction just last month marked a major project milestone,” said Grybowski in a press release. “We’re thrilled to have a company as renowned as Alstom as our turbine partner.”

Previously, Deepwater had also been in discussions with another manufacturer, Siemens, to supply the turbines. However, Grybowski explained that a “preferred supplier” agreement signed with Siemens was preliminary.

“We did sign a preferred supplier agreement with Siemens in 2010,” explained Grybowski. “The agreement expired in 2012, and was basically an ‘agreement to agree’ ... we made efforts to negotiate a deal after that agreement expired in 2012, but we also began talking with Alstom.”

Alstom is a manufacturing company headquartered in France that specializes in power generation (i.e. solar, wind and hydro power), power transmission and rail infrastructure.

According to its website, Alstom installed the world’s largest offshore wind turbine, the “Haliade 150-6MW,” off the Belgian coast in Nov. 2012.

According to a release by Alstom, “This is the largest offshore wind turbine ever installed in sea waters. Thanks to its 150-metre diameter rotor (with blades stretching 73.50 metre), the turbine is more efficient since its yield is 15 percent better than existing offshore turbines, enabling it to supply power to the equivalent of about 5,000 households.”