Offshore Industry News

Companies Get to Work on U.S. Offshore Wind Farms

Residents of Block Island, Rhode Island, are saving money thanks to their new offshore wind farm, but they are not the only ones to benefit from the project.

According to a Greater Baton Rouge Business Report article, local company Gulf Island Fabrication "jumped at the chance" to assist with the jackets for the first offshore wind farm in the United States, bringing years of experience with offshore oil and gas platforms to a new industry. Although the company's designs were modified to accommodate wind turbines, the jacket components were fabricated in existing Gulf Island facilities using a core group of as many as 300 workers, including pipefitters, welders, sandblasters, scaffold builders, and painters. Another Louisiana company, Montco Inc., helped assemble the wind farm components in the Atlantic from a liftboat. Montco's boat is normally used to decommission offshore oil and gas platforms.

Meanwhile, DONG Energy awarded Lloyd's Register a second contract to support offshore survey work on the Bay State Wind and Ocean Wind projects in Massachusetts and New Jersey.

The Maryland Public Service Commission approved two proposals for offshore wind farms off the coast of Ocean City because of economic benefit to the state: approximately 9,700 jobs and $1.8 billion of in-state spending over 20 years. The Public Service Commission required project developers U.S. Wind and Deepwater Wind to build part of their supply chains in Maryland, to spend at least $76 million on steel manufacturing in Maryland, and to use ports in the state. The developers are also required to invest $40 million into Tradepoint Atlantic, a shipyard near Baltimore that was once home to Bethlehem Steel. "We're extremely excited about it," said David Roncinske, a representative with Wharf, Dock Builders, Pile Drivers, and Divers Local Union 179.

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