Ribbon Cutting held for Wind Farm Support Vessel

A big crowd gathered at Bount Boats Shipyard in Warren Wednesday for a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the construction of the first offshore wind support vessel in the country.

The catamaran will service the nation's first ever Wind Farm in the waters off of Block Island.

That project is expected to power as many as 17,000 homes.

"There has been a lot of infrastructure that was built we are seeing some of the product of that that… There were going to be follow on jobs, these are some of those follow on jobs that are beginning to happen,” said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.

Roughly 70 Rhode Islanders are working to build the 70 foot long boat.

"they are very specialized vessels. You can just see from the hull they are light weight aluminum for speed, they are catamarans for stability, they have elevated pilot houses,” said Marcia Blount the president of Blount Boats.

Once complete, the catamaran will provide crew and equipment support during construction of the wind farm.

After that's done, the vessel will be used to provide operations and maintenance support for the next two decades.

"The boat can go approximately 30 knots, it can carry about 15 tons of cargo, two ten foot ISO containers so the technicians can actually store their equipment and the containers can actually be transferred off the vessel via crane onto the actual turbine platform,” said Charles Donadio the President of Rhode Island Fast Ferry.

The boat is expected to be complete in the Spring of 2016.

(C) WLNE 2015