Vessel operators and boatbuilders interested in diversifying into offshore wind energy can attend classes designed to breakdown the supply chain and bring clarity to the industry.
The Business Network for Offshore Wind (BNOW) has begun hosting its "Foundation 2 Blade" training series, a multiday virtual seminar designed to help U.S. companies enter the growing market.
The U.S. offshore wind market has received new focus lately as the Biden administration moves to achieve its goal of a clean energy grid by 2035 and to stimulate job growth in renewable energy. A few weeks after taking office, President Biden signed an order directing the Department of Interior to double offshore wind production in the next decade.
“Offshore wind energy is a mature technology. In 2020 alone, 800 turbines were completed worldwide,” said Ben Brown, BNOW's director of industry education. But with offshore wind development just starting in the U.S., many companies do not know where opportunities exist. “Foundation 2 Blade was created to meet a need within the market.”
The Business Network’s training is currently held virtually over four days and broken up into six different subjects, covering construction and installation, operations and maintenance, and siting and permitting among other subjects. Brown said companies that already work in marine construction or operations are natural candidates for diversification into offshore wind.
“Foundation 2 Blade’s modules are designed to demystify the supply chain, spur innovation, and present a market entry path for companies,” said Brown. “It is perfect for a company interested in expanding into the offshore wind industry at an accelerated timeline. We condense hours and hours of market knowledge building, market research, networking, and interviews into 20 hours of class time with industry experts so that companies can identify where their opportunity exists within in the offshore wind supply chain.”
Brown added that BNOW has already partnered with the state of Rhode Island to deliver the training for companies located in state, and is exploring more collaborations with states or local economic development organizations.
Recent executive and legislative actions clarifying how the Jones Act applies to offshore wind is driving domestic vessel demand even higher, added Brown. Jones Act regulations have spurred new activity in the U.S., including a $500 million installation vessel being built in Texas and a new SOV being constructed by Edison Chouest.
Since marine operations are so critical to all facets of offshore wind development, Brown said Foundation 2 Blade training breaks down the dozens of vessels needed to survey, transport, construct, and operate a wind farm. He added the class brings in industry experts at the end of everyday to speak with attendees about their experience in the industry.
As part of WorkBoat+Wind and our mutual commitment to support the commercial vessel market BNOW and WorkBoat have partnered to offer WorkBoat customers the member rate of $1,575 for Foundation 2 Blade. The upcoming delivery of the program begins on April 9, 2021, with the next following in September 2021. For complete information is available on the Network’s site: https://www.offshorewindus.org/foundation-2-blade/
Founded in 2013, the Business Network is a member-based non-profit that advocates for offshore wind development and seeks to develop the domestic supply chain in support of the industry. It already has 75 class graduates and says it plans on holding the training in April and September.