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Installation solutions for US offshore wind

Since the beginning of this year, US states together, have committed to over 8,000MW of offshore wind by 2030. And now, these long-term commitments by states have started to materialize in near term actual projects. PES brings you the latest update from GustoMSC.

Building a long-term industry on near term projects

In May this year Vineyard Wind was awarded an 800MW project by the state of Massachusetts followed by two further awards of 400MW by Rhode Island and 200MW by Connecticut to Deepwater Wind. Increasingly these developments provide justification to invest in dedicated and efficient installation solutions both for a long-term efficient US offshore wind industry and to provide short term solutions to install these first projects.

GustoMSC, a design and engineering company of mobile offshore units and equipment, has designed the vast majority of offshore wind turbine installation jack-ups and vessels operating to date. Since 2010, these jack-ups with integrated jacking systems and cranes have installed over 4,000 turbines and foundations.

Past developments

GustoMSC has long been aiming to support developments in the US offshore wind market with its expertise. Two years ago, GustoMSC participated in a study, led by the New York State Energy Research and Development Agency (NYSERDA), aimed at understanding what is required for a wind turbine installation vessel on the US east coast from both technical and financial perspectives.

This report was published last year by the states of Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island. In that study GustoMSC put forward the NG-9800C-US design as an autonomous and efficient jack-up capable of installing the present size of 8 MW turbines and foundations in water depths of up to 50 to 55m. The proposed design is an evolution of the successful NG-9000C design of which 4 units have been built to date. In addition, GustoMSC proposed a dedicated self-propelled feeder jack-up, the NG-3750C as an alternative solution.

At that time, when the future US pipeline of work was less visible than it is today, the main concern was whether a large investment in a unit like the NG-9800C-US could be justified. In response GustoMSC put forward the SEA-3250-LT as lower cost, non-self-propelled jack-up capable of installing these same turbines (but not foundations) at a minimum investment cost. The projected price was a ¼ to a 1/3 of the price of the NG-9800C-US.

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