Off Shore Wind Farm Promises Jobs for the Northeast

March 09, 2010

In an effort to help “green” our country Cape Cod, Massachusetts has proposed project Cape Wind , America’s first off shore wind farm. This project will require two years from start to finish and will employ at least a thousand people across the state. In a study done by Global Insight , Cape Wind will require 391 full time jobs during the two and a quarter years manufacturing and construction phases and will provide 150 permanent jobs when the project is completed.

Cape Wind is put on by Energy Management Inc. (EMI), a company that is dedicated to conserving energy, and creating jobs. When asked what kind of experience Cape Wind looks for in applicants Mark Rodgers, the communications director at Cape Wind said that “ocean experience is important. They don’t necessarily have to have worked in the European processes, but maritime experience is important.” Rodgers said that there is “no breakdown of the specific jobs that will be needed, we are still in the final permitting stage. Once we have a contractor we will have more of a clear view of the breakdown of engineers we will need. There certainly will be a great number of engineers needed as this is a large project.”

This is a large project, indeed. Each turbine is constructed of a monopole foundation, a tower, rotor blades and nacelles. The nacelles are what house the key components of the turbine, the gearbox and the generator. The towers are made from steel plates rolled into conical subsections which are then welded together to form 65 to 100 ft sections. The rotor blades are made from fiberglass mats “impregnated” with polyester or epoxy.

The construction of this project is expected to take two years from assembly to installation. In addition to manufacturing the turbines, cables need to be placed in Yarmouth, MA and connecting cables off shore in order to get electricity to reach the mainland. “The cables from the individual turbines connect to the electrical service platform (ESP), which serves as the main connection point and the offshore maintenance facility. From here, the park will connect to the Northeast grid,” Rodgers said.

Once the “park” of turbines is put into place the energy saving can begin. Each turbine is said to produce up to 3.6MW of power and will total up to 75 percent of Cape Cod and the Island’s electricity demand.

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