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Vineyard Wind wind turbine leaves New Bedford. Photo courtesy of Vineyard Wind.

Vineyard Wind wind turbines leave New Bedford, Connecticut for installation offshore at the Vineyard Wind 1 project. Photo courtesy of Vineyard Wind

Vineyard Wind’s First Turbine Departs New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal

GCaptain
Total Views: 1200
September 11, 2023

ONCE INSTALLED, THE GE HALIADE-X WILL “STAND AS A PROUD SYMBOL OF AMERICA’S CLEAN ENERGY TRANSITION”

Vineyard Wind, a joint venture between AVANGRID, Inc. (NYSE: AGR) and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), today shipped the first GE Haliade-X Wind Turbine Generator (WTG) from the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal to its location more than 30 miles off the coast of Cape Cod.

Foss Maritime, a US service contractor that provides union jobs for its employees, has partnered with DEME Offshore US to design and build highly specialized US-flagged barges to transport the components to the lease area.  The Marmac in New Bedford, Mass., and the Foss Prevailing Wind in Boston, both 400-feet-long, are the only two barges in existence capable of transporting in an upright position GE’s massive Haliade-X turbine components that when constructed will rise more than 700 feet. 

The barges utilize a specially designed Barge Master technology that uses a patented control system and cylinders that support a platform and actively compensate the motions of the barge. The wind turbine components are fastened to the motion compensated platform for a smooth ride in ocean conditions.

“It may look easy, but the safe transportation of these components miles over the open water is no small feat,” said Vineyard Wind CEO Klaus S. Moeller.  “While we’ve had many firsts, once this turbine is installed, it will stand as a proud symbol of American’s energy transition.  I want to thank all of our partners for their continued collaboration and look forward to celebrating the progress of our industry.”

GE will initially load the U.S.-flagged Marmac from the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal with three vertically placed tower sections reaching more than 200 feet in height, three 321-foot-long blades and a nacelle pod that houses the generating components. Foss will deliver loads weighing more than 1,700 tons each, to construction partner DEME Group’s Sea Installer vessel with 300-foot-deep legs stationed 65 miles from New Bedford south of Martha’s Vineyard.

“Over the past year, we have achieved significant milestones in the development of Avangrid’s Vineyard Wind 1, but the installation of the project’s first turbine stands as a singular landmark for offshore wind, clean energy, and climate action in the United States,” said Avangrid CEO Pedro Azagra. “We are proud that local union labor will pioneer the installation of the massive GE turbines that will harness the winds off the shores of Massachusetts to power more than 400,000 homes and businesses across the Commonwealth.”

“The installation of the first turbine is another proud moment for CIP and the culmination of years of hard work from our project development and construction teams,” said Tim Evans, Partner and Head of North America for CIP.  “The Vineyard Wind project proves that offshore wind is here today and is ready to provide clean energy and jobs for years to come.”

“DEME is proud to partner with Foss Maritime to play a critical role in deploying Vineyard’s offshore wind turbine components on specialized US-flagged barges from New Bedford to the project site offshore,” said DEME Offshore US President Bill White.  “The DEME crew on our Sea Installer vessel can’t wait to receive these components and work with the highly skilled union workers from the Massachusetts Building Trades to build America’s first large scale offshore wind project and launch this new and vital clean energy industry,” said Bill White, President DEME Offshore US.

“This milestone is the result of years of technology development and partnership between Vineyard Wind, GE, DEME, Foss, the unions, local communities and many others,” said Joel Whitman, president of Foss Offshore Wind, a Foss Maritime division. “GE’s next generation turbines are much larger than anything that has previously been installed. The delivery to the construction site is a turning point for the offshore wind industry. We’re ready to go.”

“We are proud to be providing Haliade-X turbines to support Vineyard Wind,” said Jan Kjaersgaard, CEO, Offshore Wind, GE Vernova. “These state-of-the-art wind turbine generators will enable the project to deliver significant amounts of clean, renewable energy to Massachusetts residents.  Our ongoing work with our customer and other partners shows that offshore wind can deliver both environmental and economic development benefits as it plays a growing role in helping to decarbonize the electric power grid.”

Sea Installer, which measures more than 430 feet in length and 150 feet wide, is a heavy lift jack up crane vessel that lifts itself out of the water on legs that are over 300 feet in length.  Once elevated, the vessel becomes a platform where the recently upgraded crane, now capable of lifting more than 1600 tons, can install the tower sections, nacelle and blades for each WTG. 

“The development of the first GE Haliade-X wind turbines from the Port of New Bedford to the Vineyard Wind project site is an important project milestone and another historic first for our Port, said New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell. “It is yet another demonstration of New Bedford’s capacity to support the staging of wind projects.”

“This installation truly marks the beginning of offshore wind in America with New Bedford as its launching pad,” said Senator Mark Montigny (D-New Bedford), who has been a strong supporter of Senate initiatives to expand sustainable energy programs.  “We are proud to see local workers building these incredible turbines that will literally transform our economy, lower energy costs, and help combat climate change through lower carbon emissions.  We still have a long way to go, but today is a strong step toward meeting the goals set forth by the legislature when it initiated the nation’s first offshore wind procurement law.” 

“Since the first turbine components were delivered to New Bedford three months ago, Vineyard Wind has made impressive strides developing and demonstrating offshore wind technology, and today’s launch of the first GE Haliade-X wind turbine generator from our port to the project site is a momentous breakthrough for the future of climate resiliency and renewable energy,” said State Representative Antonio F.D. Cabral. “New Bedford was once the city that lit the world, and through this partnership between our great city, Vineyard Wind, Foss Offshore Wind, and our local Labor Unions, New Bedford is well on our way to being that beacon of light and leadership again.” 

“We are excited that the first offshore wind turbines in U.S. history were assembled here in New Bedford, using New Bedford labor,” said State Representative Chris Hendricks.  “Today in the Commonwealth, it is so important we transition to clean energy, and I am proud that New Bedford is at the front and center of it all.”

“This is very exciting news. For the last few months, we have all been in awe of the size of these turbines and the number of talented workers present at our marine terminal,” stated State Representative Chris Markey. “To think that this is the first of many is both exciting and a sign that the future for New Bedford and the Commonwealth is bright “

As a part of the Project Labor Agreement, local union labor will be used both on the vessels and onshore at the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal. The project estimates that approximately 400 union members have worked on the project to date.

Vineyard Wind recently submitted its first annual report to the state compiled by UMass Dartmouth and Springline Research Group that found that Vineyard Wind is jumpstarting the offshore wind economy in Massachusetts.

An 800-megawatt project located 15 miles off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard, Vineyard Wind will generate electricity for more than 400,000 homes and businesses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, create 3,600 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) job years, save customers $1.4 billion over the first 20 years of operation, and is expected to reduce carbon emissions by more than 1.6 million metric tons per year, the equivalent of taking 325,000 cars off the road annually.  

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