Offshore Wind

Siemens has won a contract from Cape Wind to develop a 468MW offshore wind farm, which is claimed to be the US’ first utility-scale offshore wind farm.

Under the contract, the company will supply 3.6MW offshore wind turbines, an offshore electric service platform (ESP) and a long-term service agreement for the $2.6bn project.

Located off the north-east coast, 20km offshore of Nantucket at Horseshoe Shoal in the Nantucket Sound, the project is expected to be commissioned by 2016.

Siemens Energy Sector CEO Michael Sub said the US is a key market for the company and it has bagged the third big contract in the US within just one week.

"Following the biggest onshore wind order ever and a follow-up order for a highly efficient and flexible gas-fired combined cycle power plant in Pennsylvania, we have now signed a contract to provide wind turbines and service for the first commercial offshore wind farm in the US," said Sub.

The project construction, which is expected to take 18 months, is being executed in four distinct phases including turbine manufacturing, upland (land) cable, offshore electric cabling and park construction.

"The US is a key market for the company and it has bagged the third big contract in the US within just one week."

PensionDanmark, through Copenhagen Infrastructure I, a fund managed by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, is funding a conditional investment commitment of $200m in the project.

Earlier in November 2012, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities has approved a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA) between NSTAR and Cape Wind for the project’s output and associated renewable energy credits.

The project, featuring up to 130 Siemens turbines will create an estimated 600 to 1,000 jobs in the region, generate enough electricity to power around 500,000 households, and curb carbon emissions by more than 777,000t annually.

Cape Wind had appointed The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU) as its coordinating lead arranger of the commercial bank portion of the total debt financing for the project, while Barclays is its sole financial advisor.

Image: The Cape Wind offshore project will feature 130 Siemens 3.6MW turbines. Photo: courtesy of Siemens.