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Offshore Wind Cable Installation
Experience the “Best” in offshore wind farm cable installation with Caldwell Marine International.
What is Offshore Wind?
In simple terms, offshore wind farms are composed of wind turbines, which use natural wind to create electricity.
These offshore wind farms are often constructed in large bodies of water, such as oceans and lakes, and harvest the wind energy to generate electricity. Being surrounded by water typically offers higher wind speeds for offshore wind power or offshore wind energy as opposed to wind turbines that are inland. Offshore wind energy has the potential of more than 2,000 gigawatts (GW), which is nearly double the United Sate’s current electricity use, while also offering clean and reliable electricity.
Offshore Wind in the United States
There is currently only one offshore wind farm in the United States, located on Block Island, Rhode Island. Built in 2016, the Block Island wind farm provides electricity to the residents on the island. Caldwell Marine International was proudly involved in the construction of this first offshore wind farm in the United States. Working with Orsted and Deepwater Wind, Caldwell Marine International offered their marine construction assets and horizontal directional drilling with sister company, ECI Drilling International.
Many locations continue to be proposed for new offshore wind farms, especially off the Northeast Coast of the United States, from Maine to Virginia.
Offshore Wind Farm Cable Installation Process
Turbines for offshore wind farms are connected to a power source on land via power cables. The offshore wind farm cables are installed from land at a power source to sea at the turbines. Installing the portion of cable from land to sea can also be known as near shore cable installation, which Caldwell Marine specializes in, and differs from the deep sea cable installation. Caldwell Marine International provides submarine cable installation from land to sea with the process of Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) and a plough method.
How HDD Is Used in Offshore Wind
Since offshore wind farm cables are installed from land to sea, cables must be fed below the ground. Instead of digging open trenches for the offshore wind farm cable to be installed, horizontal directional drilling is a trenchless, more environmentally friendly method and minimizes impacts to key infrastructure. The trenchless method of HDD uses a drill rig to create a conduit for the offshore wind farm cable to be pulled through. Our sister company, ECI Drilling International is an expert in horizontal directional drilling, working with Caldwell Marine regularly on both power cable installation and offshore wind farm cable installation projects.
Who Have We Worked With?
There are many offshore wind cable manufacturers, all located in Europe, which can be involved with the construction of new offshore wind farms. Caldwell Marine International has developed trusted relationships with a select few European cable manufacturers for their US based offshore wind farm cable installation projects. Our trusted relationships include Prysmian Group, NKT, and LS Cable & System. These impactful relationships aid in the ability to construct and install cable for offshore wind farms in the United States.
Block Island Offshore Wind Farm
Consisting of five wind turbines, Block Island Wind Farm was the first, and is currently the only, offshore wind farm in the United States. Caldwell Marine International and sister company ECI Drilling International both worked on the undersea and underground offshore wind farm cable installation portion of the construction project. Completed in 2016, the 30MW offshore wind farm now transfers power to Block Island and the National Grid switch in Narragansett, RI.