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White House Highlights Offshore Wind Supply Chain Growth with Visit to Philly Shipyard

BALTIMORE — The advancement of the U.S. offshore wind supply chain wascelebrated by President Biden today during a steel-cutting ceremony for the Acadia,the first U.S.-built subsea rock installation vessel (SRI) for offshore wind. The vesselwas ordered by Business Network member Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Corporation (GLDD) and is being constructed at the Philly Shipyard in Pennsylvania.During the ceremony, President Biden celebrated the $16 billion of investments made during his administration in offshore wind manufacturing, shipbuilding, and ports, noting substantial growth in the supply chain which is now creating jobs in places like Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Texas, and New England.


GLDD’s investment into the $246 million vessel garnered the company a 2022 Ventus Award for Supply Chain Advancement for the vessel’s new efficiency standards and innovation with its large capacity, accurate placement technology, innovative battery, and alternative fuel system. Headquartered in Houston, GLDDhas been in operation for over 130 years. This vessel construction represents the company’s diversification into offshore wind and will fill a substantial need in the growing offshore wind industry.


“The Biden-Harris administration is helping make offshore wind a reality by bringing certainty to the permitting process, making investments in ports and transmission, and incentivizing domestic manufacturing,” said Business Network for Offshore Wind CEO Liz Burdock, who was in attendance at today’s ceremony (photos available here). “It was great to be with so many offshore wind leaders today as President Biden recognized the significant milestone this vessel construction represents for the U.S. supply chain, which comes amid a flurry of actions from BOEM in recent weeks to advance projects through the permitting process. The Administration’s actions have contributed significant momentum to our growing industry. Congratulations to Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Corporation for this achievement; we look forward to seeing the vessel finish construction and commence operation in 2025.”


At today’s ceremony, President Biden also announced the Final Sale Notice (FSN) for setting up an August 2023 auction. These will be the first federal lease areas auctioned in the Gulf of Mexico and, once developed, could support up to 3.7 GW of offshore wind generation. Despite having no active lease areas, the Gulf has been a leader in developing the U.S. offshore wind supply chain. The Network reports that 23 percent of contracts in the U.S. market are going to Gulf firms and approximately $1 billion in investments are flowing to Gulf shipyards or fabrication yards, which was recently highlighted in a CBS News segment covering the construction of the first U.S.-built service operation vessel for offshore wind, the ECO Edison, being built by Edison Chouest in Houma, Louisiana.


“Today’s release of the Final Sale Notice for the Gulf of Mexico Lease Areas marks an exciting new front for offshore wind in the United States,” said the Network’s Vice President for Federal and State Policy John Begala. “With its long history of offshore construction, engineering expertise, and environmental monitoring and data collection, introducing the Gulf of Mexico and the region’s experienced professionals to the offshore wind market will drive new innovations and opportunities for the industry. BOEM’s inclusion of the supply chain, workforce, and fishery bidding credits demonstrates their continued commitment to seeing offshore wind develop in an equitable and inclusive manner.”


Additional Information:

For more information or to arrange an interview with the Network, contact Luke Jeanfreau at luke@offshorewindus.org or 504-444-3766.