Case Study: Block Island

Fred. Olsen Windcarrier’s specialist jack-up vessel Brave Tern installed the first offshore wind farm in the US. Installation of the five GE Haliade 150-6MW turbines was successfully completed on 19th August 2016 with demobilisation on 7th September.

Deepwater Wind’s Block Island Offshore Wind Farm is located 4.8km (3 miles) south-east of Block Island, Rhode Island. The 30MW wind farm will supply Rhode Island with clean energy.

The scope of work for Fred. Olsen Windcarrier was the transportation of five GE nacelles across the Atlantic and then installation of the full turbines at Block Island. US flagged feeder barges assisted by transporting the towers and blades from shore. The scope also included marine engineering, lift engineering, general operations planning, the design, fabrication and mobilisation of grillage and seafastening and lift supervision.

Brave Tern mobilised in the port of Esbjerg, Denmark on the 8th July 2016 before loading the nacelles at St. Nazaire, France.

The transatlantic transport of the nacelles involved using a very different deck layout to the shorter transportations. The grillage and seafastenings used were four meters high and weighed approximately 50 tonnes each.

The project was safely completed in just over 70 days, ahead of schedule.

There were a number of firsts for this project:

  • First offshore wind farm installed in US
  • First Transatlantic voyage for one of our vessels
  • First time our vessels have worked with feeder barges

Fred. Olsen Windcarrier previously worked with the Haliade turbine at the Belwind test site in 2013, which was the largest turbine to be installed offshore at the time.

Fred. Olsen related company Global Wind Service (GWS) contributed significantly with skilled and experienced technicians for the offshore assembly work under a separate contract for GE Renewable Energy.


“The project’s success is the result of the good cooperation between all project parties. This has definitely been a team effort,” Fred. Olsen Windcarrier Project Manager Eskil Røset said.

“The cooperation between Fred. Olsen Windcarrier, DWW, GE, Bluewater and Montco was really excellent and the result is there. I would like to thank the whole crew of the Brave Tern and the Fred. Olsen Windcarrier project team for doing an excellent job in project planning and installing the BIWF turbines in a safe way,” said Chris van Beek, President, Deepwater Wind.

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