Field Observations During Wind Turbine Installation at the Block Island Wind Farm, Rhode Island

BOEM_2019-027 1

Key Researchers: Adam Collett, James Elliott, Anwar Khan, Timothy Mason

The construction of the Block Island Wind Farm, which is located 2.8 miles southeast of Block Island, Rhode Island, was completed over a two-week period (3 August–18 August) in 2016, when a turbine tower, a nacelle, and three blades were assembled on each of the five wind turbine generator foundations. The nacelle is a case that houses all of the generating components in a wind turbine, including the generator, gearbox, drive train, and brake assembly.  This report presents the results of observations during construction activities and airborne noise monitoring conducted during the installation.   The purpose of visual monitoring was to 1) document visibility of construction activities during the assembly of the turbine towers and installation of the nacelles and blades from selected onshore and offshore locations; and 2) generate a real-time record of the construction-related impact-producing activities, and where possible, quantify such activities.


Assembly of the wind turbine generator components on the foundations was completed in approximately 2 weeks, with an average of 3 days per turbine installation. On windy days, construction had to be suspended because of potential risk from crane operations.
Only four vessels were used (three lift boats and the crew tender Atlantic Pioneer) during installation of the towers, as compared to the 16 vessels that supported foundation construction.
During construction, local boat traffic was impacted, turbine construction had no influence on the local fishing traffic.

The monitoring results indicated that at no point during the tower installation operations construction noise was audible or detectable at the onshore monitoring location.

How BOEM will use this information

Evaluation of impacts from future wind development

Address concerns raised by the public