WorkBoat Show: Offshore wind an opportunity for Gulf operators

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.

About the author

Kirk Moore

Associate Editor Kirk Moore was a reporter for the Asbury Park Press for over 30 years before joining WorkBoat in 2015. He wrote several award-winning stories on marine, environmental, coastal and military issues that helped drive federal and state government policy changes. He has also been a field editor for WorkBoat’s sister publication, National Fisherman, for almost 25 years. Moore was awarded the Online News Association 2011 Knight Award for Public Service for the “Barnegat Bay Under Stress,” 2010 series that led to the New Jersey state government’s restoration plan. He lives in West Creek, N.J.

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