Combining European expertise and US content
Developing offshore wind energy production facilities presents interesting operational requirements and logistical challenges, especially along the US Northeast Coast. Environmental conditions in the Northeastern US are challenging, harsh and some areas have relatively deep water for production of offshore wind energy.
However, GustoMSC does not foresee any insurmountable problems. Their maritime experience with harsh environmental conditions began when their company started in the 1860s. They have operated worldwide in the offshore wind energy industry since 2002. Also, this innovative Netherlands-based company has been learning since 2008 what is required by local specifics of US projects like Cape Wind. And they are helping develop robust transport and installation solutions.
The new US regime has set an ambitious goal for the expansion of offshore wind energy. It aims to expand production of offshore wind energy to 30 GW by 2030, and 110 GW by 2050.
Building up a new industry and its supply chain in the US will take time. To meet the required timeline, the US offshore wind energy industry will have to expand quickly. It is also teaming up with European players to kickstart the process.
For the first projects, the US is relying on EU expertise and companies to install foundations and turbines. Over recent years, investments have begun in the infrastructure, assets and supply chain required for long-term development of US offshore wind energy. Many of these developments and investments rely strongly on US – EU partnerships built upon European offshore wind expertise and US content. And development is required on a massive scale: the 95,500 mile US coastline dwarfs the 41,000 mile European coastline.
Thus, there is immense potential for the US offshore wind energy industry. Initial investments in the US offshore include developing EEW’s foundation manufacturing facility in Paulsboro, NJ; a staging port in New London, CT; and Dominion Energy’s NG 16000X SJ installation jack-up vessel, ‘Charybdis’.