It was once just a dream that no one thought could ever be realized, but one of the most important renewable energy projects to hit New England has just been completed in the waters just off of Block Island, Rhode Island. Through the innovative and ground-breaking electrical contracting services and combined efforts of E.W. Audet & Sons and electrical workers hired from Union Local 99, America’s first offshore wind farm is close to being switched on to provide power to Block Island.
A Whole New World
Electrical contractors in Rhode Island are no stranger to innovation and advanced technology. E.W. Audet & Sons has a solid reputation within the region for working on major projects for transportation, including bridge lighting, AMTRAK stations and more; renewable energy, including solar energy projects, national grid and gas-to-energy projects; water and waste treatment, including waste water treatment facilities for area cities and towns. They have also worked on multi-million dollar hotels and casinos, major universities and public schools, retail shopping malls and corporate buildings, airports, athletic fields and stadiums, hospitals, commercial buildings, municipal projects and much more. So when they say that this is a big project, you know it’s a really big deal.
So when Project Manager Jeff Audet says that his crew went above and beyond – even receiving specialized training to qualify for work on the wind turbine platform – you know that this is something huge. In fact, the crew was working 14 hour days, six to seven days a week, in order to get the project done. The specialized training included rescue training, working-at-sea training and even training for climbing. E.W. Audet & Sons, under Deepwater Wind of Providence, is proud to have hired additional electrical workers for this project from Union Local 99. Their effort ensured that this industry-changing project stayed local, powered by skilled tradesmen right here in Rhode Island.
Ready for Launch
The first offshore wind farm will official begin to generate power in October 2016. Right now, workers are busy dotting all of their i’s and crossing all of their t’s with regard to this project. A period of testing and fine-tuning will occur once the Block Island Wind Farm is fully operational. Any power generated in excess of what is needed to power the island will pump directly into the New England power grid. This small, yet mighty project, is fully capable of powering as many as 17,000 homes. However, it is a landmark project that will hopefully pave the way for electrical contracting services to establish even more offshore wind farms in the near future.
Renewable energy projects like this one have become increasingly popular. Other similar projects have been proposed in the United States, but so far this is the only one that has come to fruition. Complaints by citizens at previously proposed sites, such as one located off the shores of Cape Cod, ended up stopping the projects before they could even begin construction. The five turbines that were built as part of the Block Island Wind Farm can be seen from the island, but do not interfere with beach views or views from homes that overlook the coast.
Wave of the Future
Experts believe that offshore wind farms could be the answer to increasing electrical production without relying as much on fossil fuels. Renewable energy projects have been popular for a while, but electrical contractors in Rhode Island are now being tapped for more projects like this one, as many state governments are agreeing to increase interests in alternative energy production. The governors of New York and Massachusetts have both set goals for increasing renewable energy projects, signing bills to develop contracts with offshore wind farms to achieve their goals.
Electrical contracting services have built offshore wind farms in Europe that are similar to the Block Island Wind Farm, some as large as 300 turbines. The ocean breezes are much stronger than anything on land, providing even more power than land-based wind farms even in particularly windy locations. While the turbines for the Block Island Wind Farm were built overseas and installed using a multi-million dollar ship from Norway, experts say that the cost to install offshore wind farms will become more economical as those involved in these renewable energy projects get more proficient at building them. It is reasonable to say that this project has helped to establish a whole new industry in the northeast.
Electrical Contractors in Rhode Island
If you are interested in learning more about this offshore wind farm project or are in need of electrical contracting services in the northeastern states, contact E.W. Audet & Sons by calling 401-467-3510. Our team can provide you with information about other renewable energy projects and ground-breaking opportunities available beyond the Block Island Wind Farm. Give us a call today to get a FREE quote on your next project or to discus other projects with our electrical contractors in Rhode Island.