The award of the lucrative contract to supply the United States’ first offshore wind farm has been eagerly anticipated. It was announced in a supply and maintenance contract announced just before Christmas. It will be for the huge Cape Wind wind farm located on Horseshoe Shoal in Nantucket Sound, off of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
And the contract went to… Siemens, who will be using their 3.6MW wind turbines. Siemens will also be providing an offshore ESP (Electric Service Platform) and a maintenance and service agreement for a full 15 years. There will be a total of 130 wind turbines making a total potential output of 468 megawatts. That is enough to supply 75% of Cape Cod and Islands’ electricity needs.
The Governor of Massachusetts, Deval Patrick, pictured above, commented:
“This is a significant milestone for this project and we’re excited about it. Massachusetts will be a pioneer in the emerging offshore wind industry, which brings with it both clean energy and good jobs.”
The Siemens 3.6MW turbine is a tried and tested turbine well-suited for offshore work. Indeed it is already in extensive use throughout the world, and is due to be utilised in at least 9 other offshore wind farms currently commissioned for build or under construction.
The benefits for the region are immense: Green renewable wind energy creating electricity for three quarters of homes, a reduction in wholesale electric market prices by over $4 billion over the 25 year operating life of Cape Wind, plus 1000 temporary jobs in assembly along with 150 permanent jobs.
The project will create up to a thousand jobs in assembly and ocean construction and 150 permanent jobs; mostly going to people from local communities.
Cape Wind should take about 18 months to construct. This is what it should look like from the shoreline-