First US offshore wind farm enters construction
Contractors working on the first offshore wind farm in the United States have begun installing towers and turbines roughly three miles off the coast of Block Island, Rhode Island.
The Block Island Wind Farm remains on-schedule to be fully constructed this summer and commissioned this autumn.
“Projects like the Block Island Wind Farm are the future not only of Rhode Island’s economy, but the whole country’s economy,” said the state’s Governor Gina M. Raimondo. “With this project, Rhode Island continues to position itself as a leader and an innovator in the industries of the future.”
National Grid completed the installation of a sea2shore submarine cable connection between Block Island and mainland Rhode Island in June. Last week, all cables for the project were installed, including four inter-array cables which will connect the five turbine foundations and the export cable.
“It’s go time,” said Deepwater Wind CEO Jeffrey Grybowski. “We’re ready to bring this historic project across the finish line. This is sure to be a momentous summer – not just for this project, but also for the start of a new American industry.”
According to the Providence Journal, contractors began attaching blades to the 6MW apiece GE Haliade turbines yesterday in what is considered the trickiest part of the construction phase.
The Block Island Wind Farm will commence commercial operations once GE technicians have completed commissioning.
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.