The Cape Wind project will be the first offshore wind project to be developed, permitted and built in the USA. The project will be located in Nantucket Sound, off the coast of the famous recreational areas of Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts.
It is currently envisaged that the project will constitute the erection of 130 turbines - each with a capacity of 3.6MW – this will provide a total power capacity of 468MW. The annual expected electricity production corresponds with the consumption levels of some 420,000 households.
The project has had a long and enduring process of development and permitting, partly from being the first of its kind in the USA, so that directions could be found for the public - and the permitting processes. This process was finally concluded in connection with President Obama's job creation initiative, and in 2011 US Secretary of Interior ruled that no further civil lawsuits could hold up the project.
Ramboll's scope of work
As the leading partner Ramboll shall, together with Keystone and PMSS - both of the USA -perform the detailed design of the steel monopile foundations for all 130 wind turbines. Ramboll will also provide supervision and interpretation of the geological and the geotechnical investigations, for the provision of information about the strength of the soil in the seabed, and the metocean modelling which provides design input for wind and waves.
This project represents a new challenge to the design team, as wind turbine foundations have never before been designed to withstand loads from hurricanes. This means that existing design codes are being adjusted and new design principles introduced.
Likewise, this is the first project designed according to US rules and regulations for occupational health and safety, so the design process will include extensive coordination with the authorities.
Perspectives on the Cape Wind project
The Cape Wind project has, for many years, been the mother-of-all-offshore-projects in the USA. Because of the final go ahead for the project, the expectations for a new emerging offshore wind market and industry in the USA are increasing.
The Cape Wind project is developed, permitted and built by Cape Wind Associates, a privately owned developer of utility scale power plants based on gas fired plants as well as renewable energy sources.