Storm delays wind farm commissioning

Project remains on schedule
Fri, 09/09/2016 - 12:00pm

“The wind farm is designed to thrive in storm conditions like this one.”

That’s what Deepwater Wind spokesperson Meaghan Wims told The Block Island Times on Tuesday, Sept. 6 when asked of the storm's impact on the project. “So far the main impact from the storm has been rough sea conditions that have prevented us from sending our commissioning crews offshore.”

Deepwater Wind has said that the Block Island Wind Farm has been constructed to withstand a 1,000-year storm while standing in 90-feet of ocean water. That may have been why the only impact that Hurricane Hermine had on the wind farm was to delay the project’s commissioning stage.

We expect sea conditions will improve in a few days and we’ll be able to get back to the commissioning work," said Wims. "Commissioning work is proceeding well and remains on schedule, even with this brief weather stoppage.” 

Deepwater Wind is in the process of commissioning its 30-megawatt pilot wind farm so that the project's newly assembled wind turbines can be tested. The wind energy company said that the blades of the five turbines would start spinning in September so that electricity could be delivered to a test bank on the substation property adjacent to the Block Island Power Company.

Deepwater Wind and its cable partner, National Grid, are targeting a Nov. 15 date for “going live” with the cable transmission system. The Block Island Wind Farm is expected to start delivering the power it generates to the mainland electrical grid, known as the Independent System Operators for the New England Region, after January 2017.