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GE Is Building America’s First Offshore Wind Farm

GE announced earlier this month that it has completed the installation of the offshore platforms for America’s first offshore wind farm.

The road to offshore wind in the US has been long and bumpy, with very little to show for the efforts. The collapse of the Cape Wind project left many both within and without the industry wondering if it would ever get off the ground. However, in March of 2015, Deepwater Wind announced that it had fully financed the Block Island Wind Farm, set to be developed off the coast of Rhode Island.

The first foundation was installed in August of last year for one of the five turbines that will eventually end up totaling 30 MW. In fact, GE — which is providing the state-of-the-art, 6 MW, 170 meter turbines — hopes that upon completion, the wind farm will provide approximately 90% of Block Island’s electricity demand.

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“In the last six years, the renewables industry has been able to lower the cost of electricity produced by onshore wind farms by approximately 60%, making wind mainstream and competitive with other forms of power generation,” said Jérôme Pécresse, CEO of GE Renewable Energy. “Our sights are now set on offshore wind with the goal to do the same. Deepwater’s Block Island project, being the first offshore farm in the US, is a critical stepping stone to tapping the vast offshore resources in the US.”

In conjunction with news of the completion of the project’s platform construction, GE also posted a new brief on its GE Reports website. The report takes a deep look into the project, and in particular the 6 MW Haliade turbines.

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GE acquired the Haliade wind turbines in its purchase of Alstom last year. The first Haliade has already been produced, and left the factory in France for Denmark, where it will be installed on the Osterild site operated by the utility EDF EN. The same factory, located in Saint-Nazaire, France, will also make the five Haliades for the Block Island wind farm.

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