offshore wind farm under construction

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Jan De Nul to Install Cables for Vineyard Wind Offshore Farm

Mike Schuler
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August 18, 2021

The developer of the United States’ first commercial-scale offshore wind farm has awarded the cable installation contract to Belgium’s Jan De Nul Group.

The contract was awarded by Vineyard Wind, a joint venture between Avangrid Renewables, a subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc. (NYSE: AGR), and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP).

Jan De Nul, working with subcontractor JDR Cable Systems, based out of the United Kingdom, will supply and install the roughly 130 miles of inter-array cables for the 800 megawatt Vineyard Wind 1 project. The 66kV inter-array cables connecting 62 GE Haliade-X turbines will transfer electricity to an offshore substation for transmission to the grid.

Part of the contract calls for installation support and subsea training for individuals with an electrical background, creating approximately 40 new full-time jobs in Massachusetts to ensure a skilled local labor force.

Vineyard Wind 1 is located 15 miles off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard and, in May, became the first commercial-scale wind farm to win federal approval. The project is anticipated to create 3,600 jobs, including 500 union construction jobs covered by the recently announced Project Labor Agreement, and provide enough power for 400,000 homes and businesses.

“Our partnership with Jan De Nul Group and JDR is great news for the project because it ensures that we’re working with a leading global installation company and supplier while also creating jobs here in the US,” said Vineyard Wind CEO Lars Pedersen. “Combined with the recent signing of the Project Labor Agreement, we hope this latest step sends a clear message on the tremendous opportunity this industry holds for both job creation and investment.”

“We are excited to be at the forefront of the emerging offshore renewables market in the US,” said Wouter Vermeersch, Manager Offshore Cables at Jan De Nul Group. “In 2020, we successfully completed the foundation and turbine installation on the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Project and we are looking forward to capitalizing on the knowledge gained and the experience of working on the East Coast with this new challenge. Together with Vineyard Wind and our subcontractor JDR Cable Systems, we will support the local supply chain within the Massachusetts region to deliver the required offshore support vessels and skilled personnel up to the high standards required for safe and efficient offshore wind farm construction.”

For UK-based JDR, the contract is the first significant offshore wind contract in the United States. “We strongly believe in ensuring the sector has a strong pipeline of talent and we have a long history of supporting with STEM initiatives as well as partnering with universities in the UK and in the US. We know the region is going to accelerate in offshore wind, so it’s brilliant to be a part of that journey,” said Wojtek Skoczylas, CSO of Renewables at JDR.

In April, Vineyard Wind selected a U.S.-based arm of Belgian marine services provider DEME to transport and install wind turbine generators for the project using a combination of Jones Act-qualified feeder ships, provided by Foss, and a foreign-flagged installation vessel.

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