[Original release on US Wind website]
(Baltimore, MD, March 22, 2018) - US Wind, Inc. has entered into a contract with Gulf Island Fabrication, LLC for the procurement of a Meteorological Tower and supporting structure to be installed for its offshore wind energy development project, to be established off coast of Ocean City, Maryland. US Wind’s project was approved to receive offshore renewable energy credits (ORECs) on May 17, 2017. The project, involving the placement of 32 wind turbines at a distance of 17 miles from the Ocean City shoreline, (as far east in its federally designated wind energy area as possible) will generate approximately 268 Megawatt (MW) of energy.
“This contract with Gulf Island Fabrication marks a significant milestone in US Wind’s aim to deliver the intended sustainable wind energy and job and economic benefits to the Maryland economy,” said US Wind President & CEO Riccardo Toto. “We are delighted to partner with highly-regarded Gulf Island Fabrication as we move further toward realizing this important project that will set a new standard in the United States for offshore wind energy generation.”
The meteorological structure will be constructed as an intricate steel lattice tower at a height of approximately 330 feet. The supporting structure is Braced Caisson consisting of a central monopile having a thickness of 72” for the portion under the mudline and 60” from mudline to the deck. The diagonal piles, which will measure 5 feet in diameter, will provide additional stability.
The concept of the Braced Caisson is based on the Inward Battered Guide Structure (IBGS), commonly known as the “Twisted Jacket.” The IBGS is a patented solution by Keystone Engineering, one of the leading Engineering companies in offshore structures in the US. This structure was first used by ExxonMobil in March 2005 offshore Louisiana and it survived a direct hit from Hurricane Katrina in August 2005 with no structural damage.
The structure is expected to sail from Houma, LA on July the 7th of this year and is scheduled for installation within the US Wind project site in August.