1st US offshore wind farm to begin production within days

AP News
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Posted: Dec 02, 2016 1:35 PM

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — There has been a hiccup at the nation's first offshore wind farm as it prepares to start delivering power.

Deepwater Wind, which owns the five-turbine farm off Block Island, Rhode Island, says one turbine is not turning.

But spokeswoman Meaghan Wims said Friday that will not delay the start-up and the other turbines will begin delivering power for the grid within days.

The company built the wind farm to power about 17,000 homes. The project costs about $300 million, according to the company.

"We're truly proud of the wind farm's performance to date and to have completed a successful test phase," Deepwater Wind CEO Jeffrey Grybowski said in a statement. "The wind farm's performance has been exceptional, even in some of the harshest weather conditions offshore."

Wims said that since the four months of testing is complete, commercial operations can begin soon. She said the turbine's generator was damaged by a drill bit left inside, which was discovered during recent tests. She said it will be repaired and working "in the near term."

The damage was first reported by ecoRI News.

Deepwater Wind planned to open the wind farm last month, but said it was still finalizing approvals.

Wims said it's not unusual to take a turbine offline, and that one or more turbines will be turned off during maintenance and repairs from time to time, while others are operating.