Offshore wind energy development is moving apace in the Northeast and the Gulf of Mexico can be a source of boats and skills for the new industry.
Despite early doubts about the Trump administration’s attitude toward wind power, “we are seeing absolutely no slowdown,” but a move to streamline the permitting process, said Ross Tyler, executive vice president and co-founder of the Business Network for Offshore Wind.
Tyler spoke Thursday at the International WorkBoat Show in New Orleans, the same day that wind developer Equinor announced it will move ahead with plans for a its Boardwalk Wind project on a federal lease off New Jersey.
The nation’s first commercial offshore wind array, built by Deepwater Wind at Block Island, R.I., used foundations from Gulf Island Fabrication, Houma, La., and liftboats from Montco Offshore, Galliano, La., for installation.
“What we would like to see is more of the expertise held here move to this market,” said Tyler, whose group includes U.S. industrial suppliers who could help develop the wind industry. “There’s a market there and we can be a conduit.”
Offshore wind could be one market for the Gulf of Mexico’s stacked OSV fleet, said Wei Huang, director of offshore and offshore vessel sector support lead for the American Bureau of Shipping.