Congrats are in order to Blount Boats on their recent agreement (and first order) to begin building offshore wind farm crew transfer vessels (CTVs). That’s a significant step in the right direction for what is sure to be a growing industry in U.S. waters. Connect with Blount Boats here.
Offshore Wind Farms: Room for Growth in U.S. Waters
In the European Union, the use of Wind Farms as a renewable energy source has grown over the last 15 years with multiple countries within the European Union generating power from offshore farms. Wind power in the E.U. is now capable of providing 8% – 10% of the E.U.’s energy consumptions (source: Wikipedia and the European Wind Energy Association). Countries including Britain/Scotland (United Kingdom), Denmark and Germany are leading the way in wind farm technology and production.
In the United States, The U.S. Department of Energy’s report 20% Wind Energy by 2030 envisioned that wind power could supply 20% of all U.S. electricity, which included a potential contribution of 4% from offshore wind power. That represents substantial growth and a decreasing reliance on traditional energy sources such as oil and gas.
Though early in the developmental stages, it’s the Offshore Wind Farm Industry that is beginning to grow and could one day rival Europe and China in output. As of 2014, there were no offshore wind farms within the national maritime boundaries of the United States (source: Wikipedia) though efforts are underway in the Great Lakes and in the offshore waters of both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the U.S.
What Does That Mean for the U.S. Maritime Industry?
A growing industry means increased financial investments and resources will be applied to creating offshore wind farms. Supporting those farms, as it is in the E.U. and elsewhere, will be a thriving marine industry contributing a well trained workforce, supply and crew transfer vessels, transportation vessels and more.
It’s growth should be similar in nature to the offshore oil and gas industry which relies heavily on offshore ships to carry equipment, goods and personnel.
Blount Boats to Build First U.S. Flag Wind Farm Vessel
From the Marine Log article:
MAY 20, 2015—Blount Boats, Warren, RI, recently signed a contract with Rhode Island Fast Ferry to build what is believed to be the first U.S.-flag wind farm vessel.
The 21 meter crew transfer vessel (CTV) is based on a design by South Boats IOW (Isle of Wight) and will operate for Deepwater Wind Block Island in Rhode Island. The five turbine wind farm, the first commercial wind farm in the U.S., is expected to be up and running by the fourth quarter of 2016.