GZA’s client, Deepwater Wind, recently achieved the milestone “steel in the water” on Monday, July 27 and became the first US offshore wind farm to start offshore construction. When completed, the Block Island Wind Farm will consist of five wind turbines within Rhode Island state waters roughly three miles southeast of Block Island.
In the fall of 2008, GZA was contracted by Deepwater Wind to provide geotechnical engineering services for the offshore wind farm. An offshore geotechnical program, consisting of geotechnical explorations with offshore and onshore laboratory testing, was developed and implemented by GZA to provide a geotechnical engineering evaluation and report. The exploration was completed from a 245-class lift boat out of the Gulf of Mexico in 75-ft. to 95-ft. water. The GZA report included recommended soil parameter values for each turbine location, pile capacity, pile axial and lateral deformation curves, and pile drivability and constructability issues. GZA continues to support Deepwater Wind with geotechnical design assistance of their landside operations and readiness of the port facility staging areas. The GZA principal for this groundbreaking project is Russell J. Morgan, P.E., office manager of the Providence office. The GZA project manager is Diane Y. Baxter, Ph.D., P.E. senior project manager with the Providence office.