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By Ehren Goossens
By Ehren Goossens
PROVIDENCE – Alstom SA, the French maker of trains and power equipment, has agreed to supply turbines for a 30-megawatt offshore wind project that Deepwater Wind LLC is developing off the coast of Rhode Island.
Alstom will supply five of its 6-megawatt Haliade 150 turbines and tower sections for the Block Island Wind Farm, Providence-based Deepwater said today in a statement.
In addition, under a separate agreement, Alstom will provide long-term service and maintenance for the turbines. The company intends to base its service operations in Rhode Island, and will also investigate opportunities to carry out assembly of the turbines in Rhode Island, according to the statement.
There are no offshore wind farms in the U.S. and the Block Island project may begin construction at sea next year. The company qualified for a federal tax credit that extended at the end of 2013 by making an initial “multi-million dollar payment” in December for Alstom to produce the turbines, Deepwater CEO Jeff Grybowski said in the statement.
The agreement is “a giant leap forward for the Block Island Wind Farm, and the start of turbine construction just last month marked a major project milestone,” Grybowski said in the statement.
Deepwater won an auction in July to develop offshore wind farms in blocks of U.S. federal waters off the coast of Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
In addition to the project about 3 miles (4.8 miles) from Block Island, the company is planning a 1 gigawatt wind farm about 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., that may cost as much as $5 billion. Construction may start in 2017. The company has received backing from the hedge fund D.E. Shaw & Co.
Cape Wind Associates LLC is planning a wind farm with 130 Siemens AG turbines in Nantucket Sound in Massachusetts.