BSEE Conducts First Offshore Wind Turbine Inspection

In a sign of the continuing growth and maturity of the offshore wind industry in the United States, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) conducted an inspection at the South Fork Wind project, the bureau’s first inspection of an operational offshore wind turbine in US waters.

Located offshore New York and Rhode Island, South Fork Wind is the nation’s first commercial wind farm on the OCS, with a capacity of 130 megawatts, enough to power more than 70,000 homes.

“This first wind turbine inspection is critical for industry, BSEE, and the nation as domestic offshore wind transitions from installation and commissioning activities to daily clean power production, operations, and maintenance,” said BSEE Director Kevin Sligh. “BSEE is committed to ensuring the safe and environmentally responsible development of the nation’s offshore wind energy industry, and inspections are a critical step in that process.”

BSEE is the lead federal agency for developing workplace safety and environmental compliance strategies for offshore energy projects on the federal Outer Continental Shelf. The BSEE inspection team evaluated South Fork’s risk analysis, procedures, and controls from the onshore control and coordination center. They also went offshore to observe control, coordination, pre-job planning, crew transfer, and drill performance as well as to conduct a visual inspection of the turbine.

“BSEE will continue inspections of both the offshore turbines and the onshore control centers and provide oversight of each operator’s safety management system through drills and exercises, and evaluations of assets and personnel management,” said BSEE Renewable Energy Operations Director Cheri Hunter. “These actions will ensure that lessees have the capabilities and technical expertise to safely operate facilities in an environmentally responsible manner throughout the entire lifecycle of the windfarm.”

To support increased US energy production now and into the future, BSEE is committed to advancing the Biden-Harris administration’s offshore wind energy goal of deploying of 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind energy capacity by 2030 and 15 GW of floating offshore wind capacity by 2035. The deployment of renewable energy on US public lands and waters will create nearly 80,000 good-paying, US jobs.

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