This study created a framework for understanding what is required of a wind turbine installation vessel (WTIV) on the East Coast from technical and financial perspectives.A pipeline of wind farm projects was based on offshore wind development areas identified in New York, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. This pipeline provided a framework to define physical parameters such as number, size, and weight of turbines; water depth; and type, size and weight of the foundations.These parameters fed into a study to define an installation methodology and a set of functional requirements for the installation vessels using both a feeder barge and a transit unit transportation option. Based on these functional requirements, designs were finalized and estimating packages were sent to U.S. shipyards. Indicative prices of $87 million (feeder barge) and $222 million (WTIV) were received for Jones Act compliant vessels. Operational expenses were estimated assuming the vessels were U.S. flagged.This pipeline of work and cost data was used to create a basic cash flow model from the perspective of a vessel owner. Based on this model, at least 10 years of work, or a pipeline of approximately 3,500 to 4,000 megawatts of offshore wind capacity, would be required by a WTIV owner to provide a reasonable combination of day and internal rates of return.This will require that a group of states and developers coordinate on an identified pipeline of projects. However, if the full potential of the offshore wind areas on the East Coast is realized, including areas not considered in this study, several vessels may be justified.
U.S. Jones Act Compliant Offshore Wind Turbine Installation Vessel StudyA Report for the Roadmap Project for Multi-State Cooperation on Offshore Wind
New York State Energy Research and Development AuthorityMassachusetts Clean Energy CenterMassachusetts Department of Energy Resources Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources Clean Energy States Alliance
Friday, October 6, 2017