U.S. offshore wind developer Vineyard Wind has contracted Belgium-based DEME for the offshore transport and installation of the wind turbine generators for the first largescale offshore wind installation in the United States.
DEME's U.S. arm DEME Offshore US LLC will team up with American maritime services contractor FOSS Maritime Company LLC to help construct the Vineyard Wind 1 project off the coast of Massachusetts. FOSS will provide the Jones Act compliant feeder vessels, a concept by which the wind turbines will be transported from the port of New Bedford to the specialized DEME Offshore US LLC installation jack-up vessel. The DEME Offshore US LLC office in Massachusetts will be the base of operations for activities for the Vineyard Wind project.
“We’re very excited to make this announcement today not only because it’s an important step in the development of our first project but also because of the impact it will have on the US workforce,” said Lars T. Pedersen, CEO of Vineyard Wind, a joint venture between Avangrid Renewables, a subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc., and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP).
“The offshore wind industry has tremendous potential to create good paying jobs and investment opportunities while also reducing carbon pollution. By working with companies like DEME Offshore US LLC and FOSS Maritime, we can ensure that U.S. labor is gaining from the experience of well-established operators, so that the industry can take proper root and grow a fully American workforce,” Pedersen added.
Jan Klaassen, Director DEME Offshore US LLC, said, “The partnership of DEME Offshore US and FOSS Maritime brings our expertise about offshore wind and U.S. related activities together, which is the cornerstone of a successful solution. Our method is Jones Act compliant, driven by high-tech engineering, patented solutions and special adaptions to both companies’ vessels for this project. The deployment of the U.S. feeder concept by the DEME Offshore US/FOSS Maritime Team will create a great opportunity for U.S. mariners to get familiar with the offshore wind industry.”
“Beginning in 1889 we have provided our fleet of highly capable tugs, deck cargo barges, marine engineering staff, experienced project managers and highly trained mariners to work on complex marine projects in harsh environments,” said Will Roberts, President of Foss Maritime. “We appreciate the opportunity to work closely with DEME Offshore US LLC in support of the Vineyard Wind project.”
“This announcement is great news for our region, and in particular for the hard-working men and women in the maritime trades,” said Gerard Dhooge, of the Seafarers International Union, and president of the Boston & New England Maritime Trades Council, AFL-CIO. “We have a once in a generation opportunity to create a new industry that will help middle class families and those trying to make it to the middle class. With partners like Vineyard Wind, DEME Offshore US and FOSS Maritime partnering with organized labor, we can and will create a more prosperous future for people in the New Bedford region and throughout Massachusetts.”
Located 15 miles off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard, Vineyard Wind 1 is slated to become the first large-scale offshore wind farm in the United States. With a generating capacity of 800 megawatts (MW), the project will provide significant benefits to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts by providing clean electricity to power more than 400,000 homes, creating thousands of good paying jobs, and reducing electricity rates by $1.4 billion over the first 20 years of operation. The project is also expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1.68 million metric tons annually, the equivalent of taking 325,000 cars off the road each year.
Vineyard Wind is expected to reach financial close in the second half of 2021 and begin delivering clean energy to Massachusetts in 2023.