After just 11 months of construction on its “sea2shore: The Renewable Link” project, National Grid yesterday announced that it is now officially delivering electricity generated by the offshore Block Island Wind Farm to the electricity grid in Rhode Island and to customers – a first-in-the-nation milestone.
Beginning in January 2016, National Grid oversaw construction of the majority of the infrastructure needed to connect the wind farm to the electric system on mainland Rhode Island. The company will continue to own and maintain the infrastructure, which includes approximately 20 miles of submarine cable, five miles of underground cable, and two new substations (one on Block Island and one in Narragansett).
“National Grid has significant experience with submarine cable projects and has completed several others in the past, but connecting to the country’s first offshore wind farm has made it a unique experience for everyone involved,” said Timothy F. Horan, president and COO of National Grid in Rhode Island. “We are incredibly grateful to the project team, the state of Rhode Island, and all of our partners who helped make this possible, and to the residents, business owners, and community leaders of Block Island, Narragansett and South Kingstown who showed great patience and collaboration as we worked to make this historic effort a reality.”
“This is an historic achievement for our country, our customers and our company,” said Rudy Wynter, president and COO of National Grid’s FERC-Regulated Businesses. “We know that transmission is the key to unlocking and delivering the large amounts of renewable power our region needs to meet its clean energy goals, and we look forward to other developing projects that will support that endeavor.”
The Block Island Wind Farm is expected to supply approximately 30 megawatts of electricity, more than enough to meet Block Island’s entire current demand of 3 to 4 MW. The excess will be re-directed to mainland Rhode Island via the submarine cable running between Block Island and the town of Narragansett.
National Grid is a leader in the installation of submarine cables and transmission interconnectors that deliver large amounts of renewable energy to densely populated areas. Its two cables that serve the island of Nantucket enabled that community to virtually eliminate reliance on dirty, unreliable diesel generators for power. National Grid also built, operates and jointly owns an interconnector that delivers up to 2,000 MW of Canadian hydropower to New England. National Grid’s UK business jointly developed, owns and operates interconnectors to France and the Netherlands and is developing proposals for additional projects that would interconnect with other European countries.