SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez, Zakia Bouachraoui, Roger Strukhoff, David Linthicum

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Deepwater Wind and Alstom Sign Major Turbine Agreements for Block Island Wind Farm

Deepwater Wind and Alstom today announced the signing of major agreements to supply the Block Island Wind Farm with five of Alstom’s 6-megawatt (MW) Haliade 150 offshore wind turbines, bringing the world’s most innovative offshore wind technology to the United States and jumpstarting an East Coast offshore wind industry.

The agreement with Alstom – one of the world’s leading technology firms – represents a pivotal point in the development of the 30MW Block Island Wind Farm and further establishes Deepwater Wind at the forefront of the U.S. offshore wind industry.

“This agreement represents a giant leap forward for the Block Island Wind Farm, and the start of turbine construction just last month marked a major project milestone,” said Deepwater Wind CEO Jeffrey Grybowski. “We’re thrilled to have a company as renowned as Alstom as our turbine partner.”

“We are pleased to be able to provide Deepwater Wind an efficient and powerful turbine that is an ideal match for their exciting project,” said Andy Geissbuehler, General Manager, Alstom Wind North America. “We look forward to continuing to participate in the development of the offshore wind industry in the U.S. by working with visionary companies like Deepwater Wind.”

Alstom will supply the five 6MW turbines, including tower sections, for the 30-megawatt Block Island Wind Farm, located about three miles off the coast of Block Island, R.I. In addition, under a separate agreement, Alstom will provide long-term service and maintenance responsibilities for the turbines.

Under the turbine supply contract, Deepwater Wind made an initial multi-million dollar payment to Alstom in December 2013 that allowed Alstom to begin the manufacturing process for the turbines. Specifically, Alstom has begun procurement of all 15 blades for the wind farm, which will be delivered to Deepwater Wind in Europe in April 2014.

“Deepwater Wind’s multi-million dollar payment to begin manufacturing our project’s 15 blades ensures that our project will qualify for the federal Investment Tax Credit,” Grybowski said. “When combined with engineering and permitting work we already completed, we’re confident this payment puts us significantly over the required 5 percent ‘safe harbor’ for the ITC.”

New Jobs for Rhode Island

The Deepwater Wind-Alstom partnership will create a number of local jobs and boost economic activity in Rhode Island. In addition to operations and management positions Deepwater Wind will fill to support the project, Alstom intends to base its long-term service operations in Rhode Island and to perform pre-installation work in a Rhode Island harbor. Furthermore, Alstom will investigate opportunities to execute assembly activities in Rhode Island.

The Technology

Alstom’s 6-megawatt Haliade 150 direct-drive offshore wind turbine is the world’s most advanced and most efficient offshore wind turbine. Deepwater Wind’s selection of Alstom as its turbine supplier will benefit the project in several ways:

  • More efficient: Alstom’s technology will provide a significantly greater energy output than earlier anticipated. Alstom and Deepwater Wind anticipate the project’s capacity factor to exceed 47 percent, compared to initial projections of 40 percent.
  • More powerful – but smaller: In addition, the turbines will provide for a reduced visual impact than earlier anticipated. The Haliade’s efficient design means that, at 589 feet tall, the turbines will be about 10 percent – or roughly 70 feet – shorter than Deepwater Wind’s maximum height allowance provided for in the company’s permit filings. Moreover, the rotors and nacelles of the turbines will be smaller than the permitted maximums.

Alstom has 2.3 gigawatts of offshore wind farm substations delivered or under construction, and has more than 30 years of expertise with wind turbines and 100 years of experience building utility-size power projects. The company has contracts to supply 1,500 MW of the Haliade 150 turbines at offshore wind farms off the French coast, and one of the turbines is currently deployed in Belgium’s Belwind 1 offshore wind farm.

About Deepwater Wind
Deepwater Wind is a Providence, Rhode Island-based offshore wind developer. The Company is led by a veteran management team with extensive experience in developing renewable-energy projects in the northeastern United States. The Company is actively planning offshore wind projects to serve multiple East Coast markets located 15 to 25 miles offshore, including Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey. For its projects serving New Jersey, Deepwater Wind has formed Garden State Offshore Energy in partnership with PSEG Global, a wholly owned subsidiary of PSEG (NYSE: PEG). The Block Island Wind Farm, one of two Rhode Island offshore wind farms being developed by Deepwater Wind, is on target to become the nation’s first offshore wind farm. Visit www.dwwind.com for more info.

About Alstom
Alstom is a global leader in the world of power generation, power transmission and rail infrastructure, setting the benchmark for innovative and environmentally friendly technologies. Alstom builds the fastest train and the highest capacity automated metro in the world, provides turnkey integrated power plant solutions and associated services for a wide variety of energy sources, including hydro, nuclear, gas, coal and wind, and it offers a wide range of solutions for power transmission, with a focus on smart grids. The Group employs 93,000 people in around 100 countries. It had sales of over €20 billion and booked close to €24 billion in orders in 2012/13.

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