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Barge accident dents Deepwater wind farm foundation  

Credit:  By Alex Kuffner, 
Journal Staff Writer | Providence Journal | Posted Jul. 30, 2015 | www.providencejournal.com ~~

As it works to build the first offshore wind farm in the nation, Deepwater Wind is experiencing the potential difficulties of marine construction.

First, it was the weather. Rough seas forced the Providence company to push back until last Sunday the installation of the first steel foundation for the five-turbine wind farm off Block Island.

Now, Deepwater is dealing with a construction mishap. Earlier this week, one of the barges being used in the project hit the latticework “jacket” foundation that had been placed in the water and dented one of its four hollow, tubular legs.

“This is the kind of thing that can happen in construction projects, especially those offshore,” Deepwater said in a statement on Thursday.

It’s unclear how the company will repair the foundation, which was set to be secured to the ocean floor with piles this week. But Deepwater is not describing it as a major problem.

“Our flexible schedule provides us more than enough time to address things like bad weather or repairs such as this one, so our timeline remains on-track,” the company said.

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Barge accident dents Deepwater wind farm foundation
email print Comment
By Alex Kuffner

Journal Staff Writer

Posted Jul. 30, 2015 at 3:04 PM
Updated at 3:12 PM

As it works to build the first offshore wind farm in the nation, Deepwater Wind is experiencing the potential difficulties of marine construction.

First, it was the weather. Rough seas forced the Providence company to push back until last Sunday the installation of the first steel foundation for the five-turbine wind farm off Block Island.

Now, Deepwater is dealing with a construction mishap. Earlier this week, one of the barges being used in the project hit the latticework “jacket” foundation that had been placed in the water and dented one of its four hollow, tubular legs.

“This is the kind of thing that can happen in construction projects, especially those offshore,” Deepwater said in a statement on Thursday.

It’s unclear how the company will repair the foundation, which was set to be secured to the ocean floor with piles this week. But Deepwater is not describing it as a major problem.

“Our flexible schedule provides us more than enough time to address things like bad weather or repairs such as this one, so our timeline remains on-track,” the company said.

Installation of the foundations is supposed to take eight weeks and would wrap up in mid- to late-September. Offshore work would pick up again next year when the wind turbines are put in place.

Last week, because of the choppy waters off Block Island, Deepwater was forced to tow the barge carrying the first set of foundation sections to a pier off the Quonset Business Park in North Kingstown to do preliminary rigging work that couldn’t be done at sea.

After the work was completed, the barge was taken back to the location of the wind farm on Saturday and by the next day the waters were calm enough for the foundation to be lowered by a crane onto the ocean bottom.

It came just in time for a previously-scheduled boat tour on Monday of the project site for U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, Gov. Raimondo and other elected leaders and state officials. Although the skies were overcast, the waters were relatively flat during the trip.

But tough weather conditions are expected to return in the coming days. So installation of the second foundation won’t begin until the weather clears, Deepwater said.

Source:  By Alex Kuffner, 
Journal Staff Writer | Providence Journal | Posted Jul. 30, 2015 | www.providencejournal.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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