Laying the Groundwork for Offshore Wind Farm

By September 30, 2015 Engineering News

Crain-2Three miles south of Block Island, R.I., the winds of change are in the air.

A 400-ton wind turbine frame has been set into place — the first of five for Deepwater Wind LLC’s wind farm project. The wind farm will export 90% of the island’s power back to the mainland grid through a new undersea transmission cable, the Block Island Transmission System.

“We’re incredibly proud to be at the forefront of a new American clean-tech industry,” said Deepwater Wind CEO Jeffrey Grybowski. “The official start of the project has been years in the making and the start of something bigger like larger offshore wind farms in other states such as Connecticut and New Jersey.”

Deepwater Wind teamed up with DiPrete Engineering to assist with land surveying, site engineering, and land use permitting.

DiPrete Engineering worked hand-in-hand with Deepwater’s design team to support the on-land regulatory approval efforts. Engineering design and application packages were submitted to the Department of Transportation, Coastal Resources Management Council, and local municipalities.

“From a permitting standpoint, the project required some thinking outside the box — it’s pretty progressive,” said Nicole Reilly, Senior Project Manager at DiPrete. “We have been working on this project for over six years.  After pulling together zoning and planning board applications, working with municipalities and neighbors, and providing engineering solutions for multiple locations, it is rewarding to watch as construction begins.”

DiPrete Engineering worked through the site engineering components associated with installing the on-land cable through municipal right of ways, alongside regulated coastal and wetland resource areas, and stormwater management for switchyards and substations. The engineering design required an extensive amount of land surveying and over 13 miles of roadway in multiple municipalities were studied.

The Block Island Wind Farm is scheduled to be online in 2016.