As reported in the Providence Journal and AP News – Deepwater Wind on Sunday installed the first foundation for the five-turbine wind farm it’s building in waters off Block Island, Rhode Island. In a process mirroring that used to install offshore drilling platforms, the Weeks 533, the largest barge mounted revolving crane on the East Coast, lifted the 440-ton steel jacket off its transport barge and slowly lowered it to the sea floor. Steel piles will be driven through the hollow tubular legs of the jacket to secure it firmly to the seafloor, and wind turbines will ultimately be installed on top of the jacket.
The wind farm is the first to be constructed in the United States and is expected to be operational in the third quarter of 2016. Company, industry, and government officials as well as environmental agency leaders hailed this as an important step in the development of a new industry.