Components For Wind Farm To Be Built In Terrebonne

HOUMA, LA (AP) — Gulf Island Fabrication in Terrebonne Parish has won a contract to build parts for a planned wind energy project off the eastern seaboard.

         The project is being built for the Block Island Wind Farm, a project of Rhode Island's Deepwater Wind company. The Houma Courier’s Xerxes Wilson reports the farm will generate some 30 megawatts of power in Rhode Island state waters.

         Gulf Island will make structures used in anchoring offshore wind turbines to the ocean floor.

         The contract comes as Gulf Island, one of Terrebonne's largest employers, works to diversify its expertise beyond the oil patch.

         The windmill foundations are similar to traditional platform foundations Gulf Island has specialized in for decades.

         "It's the same concept we have been using in the Gulf of Mexico … with the only exception instead of having a topside that houses the employees, they will have three-bladed wind turbines, and these things are pretty massive in size," said Gulf Island CEO Kirk Meche.

         Each of the five foundations will weigh more than 1,500 tons and be situated in water less than 500 feet deep.

         Meche declined to disclose the value of the contract. Work is expected to begin by early 2015.

         "This is the first of its kind of the United States, and Gulf Island has been associated with many first-of-a-kind projects," Meche said. "We have maintained our persistence in pursuing alternative type of work to keep our companies busy."

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