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Despite safety challenges, Block Island wind farm construction still on schedule

Deepwater Wind is still on schedule to complete the first construction phase of the Block Island Wind Farm, despite issues related to equipment reliability and worker safety. Contractors have about one more month of construction to go, according to Grover Fugate, the executive director of the Coastal Resources Management Council.

Fugate said Deepwater Wind has gotten its contractors to implement safety recommendations and replace inadequate equipment for choppy ocean conditions.

“They’re out in the open ocean now, and particularly at the southeast end of Block Island, you’ve got a stretch that’s basically open all the way to the Atlantic,” said Fugate. “So the wave conditions that they are experiencing and have been experiencing during this operation are a little bit more than what they anticipated originally.”

Fugate says contractors have been implementing safety recommendations.

“It seems to be going as you would expect for an offshore environment like we’re in,” said Fugate. “Things are being worked out as we go. It’s a very adaptive and fluid situation that we’re in.”

Fugate says contractors with experience working in offshore energy projects in the Gulf of Mexico, have found the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean to be a more challenging work environment.

Fugate says the CRMC will review and approve next year’s final construction phase for the turbine assembly.