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ProvPort plays offshore wind part

November 23 - Deepwater Wind and General Electric (GE) are establishing a new temporary manufacturing facility at Rhode Island's Port of Providence (ProvPort), for the assembly of turbine components for the Block Island wind farm.

GE, which recently completed its acquisition of Alstom's offshore wind unit, is supplying the 6 MW Haliade 150 offshore wind turbines for the Block Island site - the first offshore wind farm under construction in the USA.

The first five of 15 tower sections, measuring around 29 m high each, arrived at the new temporary facility that GE is building in Providence by ship last week.

Over the next six months, GE will install the critical electrical, mechanical, and safety equipment within the bottom tower sections. The remaining tower sections will arrive in Rhode Island next year.

GE and Deepwater Wind have teamed up with several local contractors to assist with this project, including: Aladdin Electric, Bay Crane New England, Essex Newbury, E.W. Audet & Sons, Aero Mechanical, Waterson Terminal Services, GZA GeoEnvironmental, VHB, and Fuss & O'Neill.

"We are pleased to support Deepwater Wind's historic efforts to establish the first offshore wind warm in the USA. In addition to assisting Deepwater Wind with this project, we believe ProvPort is perfectly situated to continue to position Rhode Island as a leader in offshore wind development as we offer 3,500 ft (1,066 m) of linear berthing space, 20 acres (8 ha) of open lay down area and 40 ft (12 m) of deep draft," said Paul Moura, chairman of ProvPort's board of directors.

Since the first 'steel in the water' at Block Island in July 2015, Deepwater Wind has completed installation of the five steel jacket foundations and pile driving for those foundations. Installation of the deck platforms is expected to finish in the coming weeks. 

Submarine cable installation is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2016, with erection of the five offshore wind turbines set for the summer of 2016. The project is scheduled to be in service and generating power in the fourth quarter of 2016.

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