Wind Energy Vessel Involved in Diesel Spill in New London’s Thames River

Credit: Robin Breeding


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MONTVILLE — About 1,200 gallons of diesel spilled into the Thames River as a ship used to help install wind turbines was refueled Wednesday afternoon. 

Paul Copleman, a spokesman for the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said his agency was called at 1 p.m. when diesel spilled into the river while the ship Atlantic Oceanic was refueling at Gateway Terminal in Montville. 

Prior to the spill and refueling, a boom was placed in the water around the 165-foot tug and supply ship as part of standard refueling precautions. Copelman said that most of the fuel was contained in the boom, although some has escaped into the Thames River. Copelman said that DEEP, the US Coast Guard and Kropp Environmental are on site, another boom is being placed, and efforts are being made to vacuum up the fuel.

The Atlantic Oceanic was used this summer during the construction of the foundations of 62 wind turbines for Vineyard Wind, an 804 MW offshore wind farm being built south of Martha’s Vineyard. The project is a partnership of Avangrid and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners.

The Atlantic Oceanic was used to set up bubble curtains to dampen the sound of installing turbine foundations in the ocean and to reduce the impacts on ocean life, according to a press release from ThayerMahan.