Are the Risks Associated With the Block Island Wind Farm Similar to Those With Larger Wind Farms?

This question was supplied by the ‘Ask the Experts’ database managers.

Reviewed by: John O’Keeffe

Last Update: October 7th, 2020

The Ask the Experts database managers adapted an interview with John O’Keeffe (Head of Marine Affairs for North America at Ørsted) that was conducted by URI students’— Eileen Dillon, Jack Gilmour, Jake McNamara and JP Monteverdi for their Marine Affairs capstone course instructed by Dr. Austin Becker, Associate Professor. The interview takes a deep dive into Navigational Risk at the Block Island Wind Farm.

In theory, the navigational risks associated with the Block Island Wind Farm do compare to those of larger wind farms. However, it is important to note that those risks are multiplied in proportion to the wind farm size. The Block Island Wind Farm has a 30 MW capacity while Ørsted’s pipeline of projects for the Northeast are planned to have a total capacity of 1700 MW. 

That being said, O’Keeffe notes that though the projects may increase in size, the process of assessing risk does not change. He reiterates that the assessments and strategies are still conducted using the same process; but, on a scale of 10 times or 100 times that of the smaller projects.