Wind Farm went offline for updates

Fri, 03/03/2017 - 10:15am

The Block Island Wind Farm has been offline periodically during the past week, with no turbines operating in high wind conditions. Meaghan Wims, spokesperson for Deepwater Wind, told The Block Island Times on Thursday that “It’s not unusual for an offshore wind turbine to be temporarily offline during regular operations, and there are any number of conditions under which a wind turbine may be offline — such as routine maintenance and software updates.”  

Wims said that General Electric, the manufacturer of the turbines: towers, nacelles, generating components, and the blades, updated the “wind farm’s software last week, and (Deepwater Wind) took the wind farm offline during that update. The wind farm was brought back online shortly thereafter.” 

The Times has witnessed the wind farm operating almost daily, even during harsh weather conditions, but noticed that it was not operating on Monday, and Tuesday morning. Representatives from National Grid were on the Town Beach on Tuesday awaiting the wind farms operation to conduct an electromagnetic field survey of the cable. 

“We continue to be pleased with the performance of the Block Island Wind Farm,” said Wims. “Wind speeds have been exceptionally strong this winter, averaging around 25 miles-per-hour at the site, and the wind farm has done an excellent job capturing the energy of these winter storms.”

Deepwater Wind continues to perform maintenance on turbine number two, the turbine that was damaged during testing due to a six-inch drill bit being left inside its generator after manufacturing was completed. That turbine was shut down in early December when the damage was discovered and, after undergoing repairs, came back online in early February.

“(General Electric) will perform maintenance on a cable connection inside turbine number two within the coming days,” said Wims. “The schedule is dependent on weather conditions. We expect a straightforward repair and the turbine quickly resuming operations.”