Vineyard Wind and ThayerMahan announced a partnership to deploy bubble curtain. Technology to muffle undersea noise during construction of the 800-megawatt wind energy project.

ThayerMahan specializes in seabed surveys, acoustic mitigation and monitoring, and other maritime related services, with facilities in Connecticut and Massachusetts.  The partnership will use $5 million in funding from Vineyard Wind’s Industry Accelerator Fund, administered by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center.

 As a part of the agreement, ThayerMahan will move its headquarters for their bubble curtain acoustic mitigation product line to New Bedford, Mass., sharing part of the Foss Marine Terminal there now being developed to support offshore wind. 

ThayerMahan works with “the world leader in Big Bubble Curtain technology, Hydrotechnik-Luebeck (HTL), and has committed to hiring locally for a wide array of positions, from deckhands to data scientists,” according to a statement from Vineyard Wind.  “The firm has already established a training/internship program with UMass Dartmouth, in addition to agreeing to assembly and manufacturing operations for future projects in New Bedford.  Once this partnership is executed, ThayerMahan will be the first American company to provide bubble curtain services to the U.S. offshore wind industry. 

“Our agreement with ThayerMahan ensures that for the first time, a U.S.-based company will perform the service of providing a bubble curtain mitigation system for an offshore wind project,” said Vineyard Wind CEO Klaus S. Moeller.  “We believe this is the first step of getting U.S. firms experience in this new industry and sets the stage for rapid expansion in the coming years, particularly in our hometown of New Bedford.”

Bubble curtains, generated using large, perforated hoses and specialized air compressors, are designed to absorb and dampen sound during foundation installation – with the aim of reducing the environmental effects of loud sound on whales and other sea life.  The hoses are placed on the seafloor around the monopile before being filled by compressed air.  As the hoses inflated, air escapes through the perforations and creates a barrier of bubbles that reduce noise. 

These operations will be conducted from the Northstar Navigator, a vessel that will be operated out of the Port of New Bedford. The 265'x51'x19' U.S. flagged offshore service vessel is operated by Northstar Marine Services, Clermont N.J. 

“We are proud to support Vineyard Wind in the construction of the United States’ first large scale offshore wind development,” said ThayerMahan chairman and CEO Michael Connor.  We appreciate the support of Massachusetts Clean Energy Center in establishing a world class noise mitigation capability in New Bedford that will serve construction efforts throughout the region.  We continue to hire motivated workers who want to be a part of an effort that helps deliver a sustainable energy future.”

“We’re very happy to welcome ThayerMahan’s world leading autonomous maritime solutions to New Bedford’s growing ocean cluster and by the company’s commitment to hiring local,” said Jennifer Downing, Executive Director of the New Bedford Ocean Cluster. “ThayerMahan’s partnership with UMass Dartmouth is particularly exciting as it will help to prepare our local workforce for future job opportunities as the company continues to expand its operations in New Bedford.”