31 Oct 2019
Offshore Wind: a Freshening Breeze?
July brought news about offshore wind. There was something for everyone: optimism, disappointment, and construction, too.Finally, starting with Dominion Energy’s Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Project, a joint venture with Danish wind developer Orsted is underway. True, this is a small project – just two wind turbines to be installed 27 miles east of Virginia Beach. But considering all the preceding hurdles, news about Dominion blew in as proverbial, hopeful fresh air.
08 Oct 2019
Illinois Waterway Closures: Look for the Workaround
A set of complicated lock-and-dam projects on the Illinois Waterway, from Chicago to the Mississippi, has yellow lights flashing throughout the Midwest freight industry. In effect, the entire Waterway will be shut down next summer as the Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island Division, starts some hefty replacement and maintenance projects, from LaGrange to Brandon Road locks and dams.Officials advise maritime…
17 Aug 2019
Offshore Wind: Regulatory “Takes” – Take a Close Look
On April 30 the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) published a notice, requesting public comments, on a proposed “incidental harassment authorization” (IHA). An IHA is a legal and enforceable document presenting the terms and conditions with which a company must adhere in order to protect wildlife. In this case, the draft IHA was for Vineyard Wind, the wind energy company ready to start construction on an 800 MW offshore wind farm in the Atlantic…
28 Jun 2019
Ballast Water Update: Weighing the Advent of VIDA
The hard-fought passage of VIDA promises a simpler, more unified and logical set of environmental standards related to the discharge of myriad vessel streams. Industry wanted it, and now it is here. Will it deliver, and if so, when? That depends on who you talk to.As most commercial maritime operators know, US ballast water regulations made a sharp turn last December. That’s when President Trump signed…
16 Jun 2019
Offshore Wind – A Brief History
Happy 80th birthday Maritime Reporter & Engineering News! Eighty years is a significant publishing and business accomplishment!Birthdays always cause a look back. An 80-year review starts in 1939, the close of one very challenging decade, the start of events still reverberating today. History’s most important history is contained in the last 80 years.Energy dominated every one of those decades. Consider energy use, say, starting after World War II, from 1950 to 1975.
12 May 2019
Offshore Wind: California's New Gold Rush
California Dreamin': In CA, offshore wind has unlimited potentialWhen it comes to States promoting renewable, non-fossil electricity generation, California surely leads the list, from utility-scale regional grids to individual rooftop solar panels.In fact, a December 2018 update from the California Energy Commission (CEC) estimates the state may already have exceeded an initial renewable generation goal of 33% by 2020. CEC estimates that in 2018 that generation number was already 34%.
17 Apr 2019
A New York State of Mind
“A new industry is being established in New York, with the primary stimulus being a state-driven procurement process.”New York State Public Service Commission (PSC), July 12, 2018.To a great extent, this PSC comment provides direct insight into the dynamics behind New York’s pace-setting moves to establish offshore wind. First, this new energy development is deliberate – not left to chance or laissez faire markets.
13 Mar 2019
Ports of Indiana: Big Successes, with Big Projects in the Wings
For Indiana’s state-established, but autonomous Ports of Indiana, 2018 was a record setting year, both for system-wide numbers and among the three individual Ports. These consist of Burns Harbor, on Lake Erie; Jeffersonville, on the Ohio, across from Louisville, KY; and Mount Vernon, also on the Ohio River, about 140 miles downriver from Jeffersonville.Not only were actual numbers robust, but Port officials reported “unprecedented tonnage increases” within the three-port system.
11 Mar 2019
VA Offshore Wind: A Strong Foundation
Virginia officials have established a well-planned, extensive strategy to build out an offshore wind industry, including wind towers for electricity generation and the supply chain to support that extensive infrastructure and operations. The State’s big picture is ambitious: developing 2,000 MW of offshore wind by 2028.As currently envisioned, VA’s offshore wind development will likely start this year with two 8-megawatt wind turbines 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach.
28 Feb 2019
U.S. Army Corps Selects 10 Beneficial Use Pilot Projects
At the end of December, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) announced its selection of ten dredging projects that will form the core of a pilot program to advance the beneficial use of dredged material.The recent U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ announcement culminated a program required by Congress, established within the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2016, specifically Section 1122. Congress directed that the ten pilot projects selected were required to present environmental…
13 Feb 2019
Offshore Wind: Good Supply, Growing Demand
In its 2019 “Annual Energy Outlook” the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that electric generation from renewables (wind, solar, hydro) will go from 500 billion KWh in 2018 to 1500 billion KWh in 2050, just 30 years from now.“The AEO highlights the increasing role of renewable energy in the US generation mix,” said EIA Administrator Linda Capuano. “Solar and wind generation are driving much of the growth.
23 Jan 2019
Inland River Cruising: 2019 Will Be Busy
One year ago, we reported on vacation river cruising, presenting an industry mostly on the optimistic side of growth and expansion for 2018. This year’s review is more geographically limited – to the Mississippi River, heartland cruises centered among New Orleans, Memphis, St. Louis and St. Paul – but with links important for a lot of smaller cities in between.Big picture:This industry is strong, at…
05 Nov 2018
Regulatory Reform: Good Ideas … Ready to Start?
Regulatory reform is one of President Trump’s priority agenda items. Upon taking office, the President issued a number of Executive Orders focusing attention and demanding action on the myriad of regulations impacting American businesses.Last May, the reform spotlight fell on maritime regulations when the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), published a Request for Information (RFI) on…
27 Sep 2018
Subchapter M Casts Off
Initial reports show that the towing industry is adjusting well to the new normal on inland rivers. In fact, it is business as usual for most.July 20, 2018 was a critical date for tow boat operators. That was the deadline for all U.S.-flag towing vessels – over 26 feet, or less if used to assist with transport of oil or hazardous materials – to be in compliance with Subchapter M, the U.S. Coast Guard’s towing vessel safety regulations. It’s been a long time coming.
19 Sep 2018
Olmsted: Online & Open
After more than 30 years of frustratingly slow progress, cost overruns and more than a few mistakes, Olmsted is finally poised for success. That’s something to celebrate.It is official: The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) wants Olmsted operational by October. After more than 30 years, the ribbon cutting to officially open the Olmsted Locks and Dam took place on August 30. The very old (1929) upstream locks and dams – Nos.
17 Sep 2018
The New York Bight – a Hydra of Difficult Issues
The greening of America’s energy signature will not come without the usual discussions, regulatory oversight – and opposition from a raft of special interests.Amidst an atmosphere of possible resurgence in the domestic offshore oil energy, maritime stakeholders are also reminded that there is more than one kind of energy available for development off the four collective coasts of the United States. That process is underway in the Great Lakes; it has already happened off of New England.
06 Jul 2018
REGULATORY WATCH: The Global 0.50% Sulfur Cap: 30 months and counting down …
Industry frets about the coming deadline. Shipping desperately wants to be ready, but will global shore-based infrastructure and refining capacity match the demand that is sure to come? And … are regulators listening to industry’s concerns? In early June, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) held a public workshop in Washington to help the agencies prepare for the January 1…
13 Jun 2018
Spill Prevention & Response: Old Lessons, New Challenges
Emerging spill response trends fit into two big categories: technology and a combination of economic and social forces. Both will shape what comes next.Florida’s stunning Tampa Bay stands out as exactly the kind of place where you have to think about hazardous materials emergencies. It was 25 years ago, on August 10, 1993, that a freighter collided with two barges near the entrance of Tampa Bay, causing a fire and spilling over 32…
09 May 2018
Inland Drydocks: Location, Location, Location
A recent dry dock rehab project in Chicago provides new options and money saving opportunities for inland and Great Lakes stakeholders alike.From software to steel plating, Indiana-based TPG Marine Enterprises provides a range of services in the Great Lakes and inland waterways markets. River based tug and barge services are based in Jeffersonville and Mt. Vernon, IN, on the Ohio River, as well as on Kentucky’s Green River.
12 Apr 2018
Ballast Water Regs: Difficult and More Difficult
As the U.S. Coast Guard tightens its BWTS compliance rules and more systems are approved, there are still many unanswered questions for operators finally looking to comply.It’s no secret among marine stakeholders that ballast water regulations remain a top concern at the start of 2018, and a confusing one, to say the least. Hence, if someone offers to sell you a clear, concise and complete ballast water instruction manual, move that email over to your spam filter right away.