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“Steel in the Water” for Next Two Large U.S. Offshore Wind Farms

wind foundations
First foundations loaded for installation at Costal Virginia Offshore Wind Farm (Port of Virginia)

Published May 15, 2024 6:56 PM by The Maritime Executive

 

Two of the larger offshore wind farms planned for the U.S. East Coast have each gotten underway with their offshore installation. Coming just months after the commissioning of the first commercial-scale U.S. offshore wind farm it is the latest demonstration of the building momentum in the sector after the challenges in 2023.

Located roughly 15 miles south of the Rhode Island coast and 32 miles southeast of the Connecticut coast, the Revolution Wind project is adjacent to Ørsted and Eversource’s South Fork Wind, America’s first utility-scale offshore wind farm. The project also highlights that it will be the first multi-state offshore wind farm in the United States supplying power to both states.

First steel was achieved for Revolution Wind pounding in the first of the 65 turbine foundations that will hold the turbines. The project is expected to be in operation in 2025. Once in operation, it will generate 400 megawatts of offshore wind power for Rhode Island and 304 megawatts for Connecticut, enough clean energy to power more than 350,000 homes across both states.

“America’s offshore wind industry is scaling up, and the first steel in the water at Revolution Wind is a tremendous milestone for Rhode Island and Connecticut’s clean energy journey,” said David Hardy, Group EVP and CEO Americas at Ørsted. “We’re building on our successful track record with the Block Island Wind Farm and South Fork Wind, and Revolution Wind can generate more than four times as much power as those two projects put together, demonstrating the enormous economic opportunity of offshore wind.”

Three New England ports are supporting the effort to build Revolution Wind. In New London, Connecticut, the first of Revolution Wind’s turbine components have started arriving at State Pier, the staging and marshaling port for the project, where they will be assembled before transfer to the site. In Providence, Rhode Island, crews are also readying for loadout of foundation components, which were built at Ørsted and Eversource’s construction hub at ProvPort. The crew helicopters and crew transfer vessels are operating from the state’s Quonset Point facility.

 

Revolution Wind installed the first of 65 foundations for the 704 MW wind farm (Orsted)

 

To the south, off the coast of Virginia, the first six foundations headed out last weekend for Dominion Energy’s Coastal Virginia Wind Farm. It will be the largest offshore farm so far in the United States slated to provide 2.6 GW once fully constructed in late 2026. CVOW will consist of 176 turbines and three offshore substations in a nearly 113,000-acre lease area off the coast of Virginia Beach.

The monopole foundations were being moved to the site which is 30 miles off Virginia Beach. DEME’s vessel Orion has already arrived and it will be conducting the installations. Because the project is sited in an area for seasonal North Atlantic right whale migration, the installation will be conducted this October 31 this year. 

As both projects move forward, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is also continuing to push forward on the review of additional projects.  It also mapped out its mid-term plan for site development and moved toward the next auctions in the Gulf of Mexico and the first in the Gulf of Maine.