Deepwater Wind has announced it’s proposing to develop the West Coast’s first offshore wind farm. The project is also poised to become the world’s first offshore project to use a floating foundation for the turbines.
The proposed five-turbine farm, the WindFloat Pacific, will be built roughly 15 miles off the coast of Oregon, where the ocean floor drops to a thousand feet. In comparison, the water depth off the coast of Block Island, where Deepwater Wind proposes to build its first demonstration-scale wind farm, is about 90 feet.
CEO Jeff Grybowski said Deepwater Wind is partnering with Seattle-based Principle Power, the company that developed this unique floating technology. He said the two companies are combining their skills and expertise.
“So Deepwater is bringing to the table our expertise in permitting projects and negotiating the commercial arrangements that are necessary: the construction contracts and the logistics of actually building one of these large projects in the water,” said Grybowski. “Principle Power is bringing to the table their very specific technology that is one of their really groundbreaking technologies in the world for this kind of deployment.”
Grybowski said this new business endeavor is part of the company’s long-term strategy to grow and expand expertise in different technologies and geographic areas.
“Deepwater Wind is a Rhode Island company and this means that our company is growing and getting stronger,” said Grybowski. “And we’re developing a large portfolio of projects that are not just restricted to our own backyard here. We’re expanding across the country. We’re expanding into new technologies.”
All of that work will be based in Providence, said Grybowski.
Deepwater Wind has a few projects in the works, including the demonstration-scale wind farm three miles off the coast of Block Island. The permits for this five-turbine wind farm are still under review. Construction for major components has already begun. The project is slated to be up and running by 2016.
The company’s larger, utility-scale project, Deepwater ONE with up to 200 wind turbines, will be located approximately 30 miles east of Montauk, New York, and about 17 miles south of Rhode Island, between Block Island, and Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. The company hasn’t submitted a permit application for that project yet.