President Joe Biden celebrated the advancement of the U.S. offshore wind supply chain during a steel-cutting ceremony for the Acadia, the first U.S.-built subsea rock installation vessel (SRI) for offshore wind. The vessel was 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, 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 that is now creating jobs in 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, GLDD has been in operation for more than 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.
“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,” said Burdock.
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 about $1 billion in investments are flowing to Gulf shipyards or fabrication yards.
“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 John Begala, the Network’s Vice President for Federal and State Policy. “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.”
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