Hamburg, Germany – GL Garrad Hassan, part of the GL Group, has been awarded grants by the US Department of Energy (DOE) of $500,000 and $200,000 to fund two studies to identify optimal strategies for the installation, operation, and maintenance of offshore wind farms and to assess the readiness of US ports to meet the needs of the industry.
To meet the renewable energy targets of the next century, offshore wind projects hold great promise with steady, strong winds, abundant space and low impacts. These benefits are not without their challenges, however, as developing offshore wind power projects requires significant investment, expertise and a reliable knowledge base.
The grants to Garrad Hassan are part of a broader DOE offshore wind initiative, which has awarded over $43 million for projects aiming to accelerate technical innovations, lower costs, and shorten the timeline for deploying offshore wind energy systems.
GL Garrad Hassan will undertake a detailed analysis of the current and future needs of the U.S. offshore wind industry for port facilities, by examining the suitability of ports to meet the technical requirements of the industry for the assembly, construction, and operational staging of offshore projects. This study will also identify gaps in the capability of individual ports to service regional offshore projects and identify potential investment opportunities to boost this capacity.
Port facilities are strategic hubs in the offshore wind farm supply chain, since all plant and transport logistics must transit through these facilities. Port infrastructure will have to be dramatically expanded for renewable energy generation policy targets to be met. The outcomes generated by this study will help Federal and State policy-makers and port authorities take effective action to maximize the economic potential of ports in the offshore value chain.
Garrad Hassan will identify the optimal approaches to offshore installation and operations and maintenance for U.S. project conditions. Further, a detailed review and modeling program will assess the costs of employing these approaches, so that the U.S. offshore wind industry and other stakeholders are able to understand, minimize, and mitigate their financial and project risk.