With construction underway, two Louisiana firms with roots in the oil and gas industry are playing a leading part in what could be the nation’s first offshore wind farm.
Once it’s operating next year, Deepwater Wind’s Block Island project is in line to generate 30 megawatts of electricity — enough power for 17,200 homes — roughly 3 miles off Rhode Island’s coast.
The massive steel foundations for the wind farm’s five turbines were designed by Keystone Engineering, of Mandeville, and built by Gulf Island Fabrication in Houma.
The two Louisiana firms were a natural fit for the project: Though destined for the East Coast, the foundations were modeled on offshore technology used by the oil industry in the Gulf of Mexico.
“It was a nice bit for two Louisiana companies who have been in the oil and gas industry for more than 30 years to put their experience together and try to come up with a solution,” said Kirk Meche, president and CEO of Gulf Island, which has about 700 workers in Louisiana.
Deepwater Wind's turbines are supported by a traditional "jacket" foundation...
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