The federal the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) conducted its first inspection of an operational offshore wind turbine in U.S. waters, checking out a generator at the South Fork Wind project off New York and Rhode Island.

“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.” 

The 130-megawatt South Fork array of 14 turbines became the first project in U.S. waters to be completed in March.

As the lead federal agency for workplace safety and environmental compliance for energy projects on the federal Outer Continental Shelf, BSSE had an inspection team evaluate South Fork’s risk analysis, procedures, and controls from the onshore control and coordination center. 

The team traveled offshore to observe control, coordination, pre-job planning, crew transfer, and drill performance on South Fork, and to conduct a visual inspection of the turbine, according to an agency statement. 

“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.”