Turbine Installation Kicks Off at U.S. First Commercial-scale Offshore Wind Farm

Credit: Avangrid
Credit: Avangrid

Avangrid, Inc., a U.S. offshore wind developer and part of the Spanish Iberdrola Group on Wednesday announced the start of the wind turbine installation campaign for Avangrid’s Vineyard Wind 1 project offshore Massachusetts, the first commercial-scale offshore wind farm in the United States. 

The installation campaign follows the transportation earlier this week of the first GE Haliade-X Wind Turbine Generator (WTG) from the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal to the wind energy development area more than 30 miles off the coast of Cape Cod.

“Over the past year, we have achieved significant milestones in the development of Avangrid’s Vineyard Wind 1, but the installation of the project’s first turbine stands as a singular landmark for offshore wind, clean energy, and climate action in the United States,” said Avangrid CEO Pedro Azagra. “We are proud that local union labor will pioneer the installation of the massive GE turbines that will harness the winds off the shores of Massachusetts to power more than 400,000 homes and businesses across the Commonwealth.”

The GE Haliade-X has a nameplate capacity of 13 Megawatts including a power boost mode of 13.6 Megawatts. According to Avangrid, each machine can provide power to more than 6,000 households and businesses. 

One rotation of a single turbine, which is twice as tall as the Statue of Liberty from the surface of the water, can power one Massachusetts household for an entire day. 

The blades span 351 ft (or 107 meters) each, equivalent to the length of the field at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. 

The components transported to the project area weigh a total of 1,700 metric tons combined – equivalent to more than eight Boeing 747 airplanes. 

The diameter of the rotor is 722 ft (or 220 meters) which is equivalent to the height of the Golden Gate Bridge above the water.  The surface of the blade sweep is equivalent to seven American football fields.

The project will consist of 62 wind turbines to generate 806 Megawatts, enough to power more than 400,000 homes and businesses in Massachusetts

The massive components were transported by two 400-foot barges, which are, according to Avangrid, the only two in existence capable of transporting in an upright position GE’s massive Haliade-X turbine components. 

Once installed, the Haliade-X will rise more than 860 ft (or 260 meters) which is equivalent to 3X the height of the Flat Iron Building.

GE loaded the U.S.-flagged Marmac from the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal with vertically placed tower sections, three 351-foot-long blades and a nacelle pod that houses the generating components.

As a part of the Project Labor Agreement for the project, local union labor will be used both on the vessels and onshore at the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal. The project estimates that approximately 400 union members have worked on the project to date.

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