This record-breaking monopile is headed to the US’s first commercial offshore wind farm

Germany’s EEW Special Pipe Constructions (EEW SPC), which makes offshore wind monopiles, has completed its heaviest monopile yet for the US’s first commercial offshore wind farm.

The Rostock-based EEW SPC, on the Baltic coast, made the 1,895-tonne steel monopile for Vineyard Wind 1, which is 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket and 35 miles from mainland Massachusetts. EEW SPC will turn more than 98,000 tonnes of steel into monopiles for the US project. The monopiles will each have a diameter of 9.6 meters (31.4 feet) and a maximum length of 85 meters (279 feet).

For perspective: A fully loaded Boeing 747-8 airplane can weigh up to 447 tonnes when fully loaded with fuel, cargo, and passengers. So that means four fully loaded Boeing 747-8 airplanes would weigh approximately 1,772 tonnes (1,953 tons).

The $3.5 billion Vineyard Wind will feature 62 Haliade-X 13 megawatt (MW) turbines spaced one nautical mile apart.

The 800 MW Vineyard Wind 1 is a 50-50 joint venture between clean energy company Avangrid and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) funds CI II and CI III.

It will supply clean energy for over 400,000 homes and businesses in Massachusetts and reduce carbon emissions by over 1.6 million tons per year. Electricity generated by the turbines will be collected by an offshore substation before being transmitted to shore.

In December, the first of 62 transition pieces to be manufactured for Vineyard Wind 1 was shipped to the US from Spain. The transition piece – a vital link in the offshore wind turbine – is made of steel and binds the monopile and the turbine together. Italian electrical cable company Prysmian Group’s cable-laying vessels, Cable Enterprise and Ulisse, are also in the US, installing submarine cables made and tested in Finland and Italy.

North American Windpower reported yesterday that, according to UMass Dartmouth and Springline Research Group, “an analysis of job and expenditure data from the Vineyard Wind project collected from 2017 through September 2022 shows that Vineyard Wind’s reported numbers are twice the initial projections in terms of both jobs created and economic output.”

Vineyard Wind 1 is expected to come online this year.

Read more: New York State is getting a big offshore wind factory

Photo: EEW SPC

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