Offshore Wind Generation
EN Engineering was called on to provide project management, owner’s engineer, and outage planning services for the first commercial offshore wind farm in the United States, located three miles off the shore of Rhode Island. Construction of the five turbine, 30-million-watt project began in 2015, and in late summer 2016 five Alstom Haliade 150-6-MW turbines were erected. The project interconnects to the client’s 34.5 kV sub-transmission system and supplies power to Block Island and the mainland. Our client is the interconnecting utility and the owner/operator of the facilities.
Because there were no precedents for this type of project, challenges included gaining new experience with permitting, constructing, and commissioning. In addition, EN Engineering facilitated communication among all of the stakeholders, including state and federal authorities. Finally, several severe weather events impacted the timeline of the project.
EN Engineering worked with the client to design substations on the island and mainland, modify a third substation to receive the output of the project, install 13 miles of submarine cable from the island to the mainland, and install an additional five miles of underground cable to connect to the transmission grid. The EN Engineering team provided overall coordination of construction schedules between the client and other entities and also facilitated communication between parties. In addition, the team developed outage management and energization plans and schedules, developed switching protocol for the 34.5 kV cable system, and reviewed equipment and cable specifications. Effort was made to obtain additional temporary workspace where available to allow the contractors flexibility in construction for safety and cost effectiveness. The challenging 6-month project was completed on time and on budget.