Block Island News

30 Dec 2019

The Top 10 Workboat Stories for 2019

Credit: St. Louis Regional Freightway

Choosing the year’s ‘top stories’ is always a difficult task. Many compelling story threads played out, each dramatically impacting the North American waterfront, and in particular, the workboat sector – each in their own unique way.The Infrastructure Battle ContinuesThe EXECUTIVE SUMMARY H.R. 2396, the “Full Utilization of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund Act”, will ensure that the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund is used for its intended purpose – maintaining Federally-authorized harbors. The legislation would allow the U.S.

18 Dec 2019

Blount Boats: Ferries, Offshore Wind both Dominate Present, Future

Marcia Blount, President of Blount Boats

MarineNews recently visited the Blount Boats facility in Warren, Rhode Island. While the year 2019 might be the ‘year of the woman’ in the eyes of the International Maritime Organization, the two women at the head of Blount Boats – Marcia & Julie Blount– have been a driving force in the U.S. boatbuilding market for decades. As Blount’s celebrates its 70th anniversary, read about the storied yard’s promising future.Founded in 1949, Blount Boats is a full-service with a customer base comprised of a variety of commercial and government entities including the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S.

13 Dec 2019

Offshore Wind: Decisions Needed Sooner, not Later

AOT is working to develop a new port, specifically configured to serve Atlantic Ocean wind projects, on 30 acres along the Arthur Kill tidal strait between Staten Island and New Jersey. 
Boone Davis, President & CEO, Atlantic Offshore Terminals

On September 26, the State University of New York Maritime College hosted a conference on the emerging east coast offshore wind industry. “Offshore Wind Power, Planning for America’s Ocean Energy” focused on four fundamental topics:• East Coast Wind Farm Overview – Status of the Industry.• Jobs and Supply Chain Technical Working Group.• Wind Farm Port Development.• Offshore Wind Maritime Operations.In some ways, actually clocking in for a day’s work on an offshore wind turbine is tantalizingly close. Ditto for power flowing from an offshore substation to a mainland interconnection.

04 Dec 2019

AWT, Blount, Chartwell Sign Offshore Vessel Deal

Image: Chartwell Marine

U.S. offshore wind farm support company Atlantic Wind Transfers (AWT) has signed a multi-million-dollar, market-first order for two state-of the-art Chartwell 24 Crew Transfer Vessels (CTVs), developed by Chartwell Marine.The vessels, to be deployed in support of new wind farms off the East Coast, will be built by Blount Boats, with delivery scheduled for 2020."Meeting the demands of U.S. offshore wind developers and asset owners - many of whom have a background in the European sector - requires domestic supply chain firms to capitalise on existing technology…

31 Oct 2019

Offshore Wind: a Freshening Breeze?

AdobeStock_CREDIT Yauhen Suslo

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. Surely…

30 Oct 2019

OP/ED: Offshore Wind

Nicolette Nye, Vice President of Communications and Member Development of the National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) in Washington, DC.

Set to Soar, Taking Offshore Support Industry With it.Offshore energy development is opening a new front in the United States -- the Atlantic seaboard, with strong winds, a shallow continental shelf and a proximity to dense population centers is driving strong interest in offshore wind development. The offshore oil and gas supply chain stands to benefit in a big way from billions in coming investment. In fact, it is already playing a role. Companies in the Gulf of Mexico, which traditionally support the offshore oil and gas sector…

11 Oct 2019

SHORTSEA SHIPPING: All the Right Moves (Finally)

The Baton Rouge-NOLA container on barge service / (CREDIT: Port of New Orleans)

Marine Highways Gain Traction in the Intermodal Supply Chain.In the United States, landside infrastructure is at a crisis point. Congestion at the big hub ports, exacerbated by imperfect intermodal interfaces with surface transport serving cargo hinterlands is at the heart of the matter. As politicians bicker over a possible infrastructure package, the Highway Trust Fund, funded by taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel, has continued its downward journey towards further deficits (now $144 billion). And, where countless U.S.

27 Aug 2019

US Offshore Wind Pipeline Reach 25.8GW

Image: Department of Energy

The U.S. offshore wind project development pipeline grew to a potential generating capacity of 25,824 MW across 13 states, including the Block Island Wind Farm commissioned in 2016.Projects totaling 21,225 MW have exclusive site control, meaning the developer has a lease or other contract to develop the site. Most of these projects are on the Eastern seaboard, with one in the Great Lakes, said Offshore Wind Technologies Market Report, prepared by DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory.California and Hawaii have several early-stage floating offshore wind projects in the planning phase…

20 Aug 2019

Ed LeBlanc Joins Ørsted

Image: Ørsted

Ørsted US Offshore Wind has hired former U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) officer Ed LeBlanc as Manager of Marine Affairs.The company operates Block Island Wind Farm, America’s first offshore wind farm said that  LeBlanc has over 40 years of experience in the USCG, most recently serving as the Chief of Waterways Management Division, Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England since 2003.“We are thrilled to add such an accomplished veteran of the USCG to our team. Ed’s breadth of experience will be a significant addition to the Marine Affairs department,” said John O’Keeffe Head of Marine Affairs U.S.

16 Jun 2019

Offshore Wind – A Brief History

Credit: Used with permission of Worldsfairchicago1893.com

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. There was power for everything…

04 Jun 2019

OMSA Announces Formation of Wind Committee

OMSA President Aaron Smith

Open to all OMSA Members, the Committee Seeks to Further the Domestic Offshore Wind Industry and the Jones Act.New Orleans, LA – Today, the Offshore Marine Service Association (OMSA) announced the formation of the OMSA Wind Committee and announced that membership on the Committee is now open to all OMSA members.OMSA President, Aaron Smith said, “Over the past 46 years, OMSA has done a tremendous job in promoting public policy that benefits the vessels, operators, and mariners engaged in the offshore oil and gas industry.

27 Mar 2019

Arctic (& Wind) Operations: Hands Across the Water

Renderings of the proposed Aeolus wind support fleet

As the North American offshore wind model evolves, it is clear that fit-for-purpose, Jones Act compliant and Arctic ready tonnage will need to be part of the equation. If so, we’ve got that box checked, with a little help from Europe.As of September 2018, the Walney Extension off the United Kingdom is the largest offshore wind farm in the world at 659 megawatts. There are at least 70 major wind farms, each with hundreds of wind turbines, each generating as much as 10 megawatts in offshore England, the North Sea, Russia and China.

02 Jan 2019

Ørsted Bids to Build NJ's First Offshore Wind Farm

Image: Ocean Wind

Danish energy company Ørsted submitted a bid to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) to build an offshore wind farm in response to the first offshore wind request for proposal under Gov. Phil Murphy’s clean energy agenda.Ørsted, the global leader in offshore wind energy, has pioneered and refined the approach to developing and constructing offshore wind farms since it launched the world’s first offshore wind farm in 1991.Ørsted owns and operates the Block Island Wind Farm…

15 Dec 2018

BOEM "Blown Away" by Record U.S. Offshore Wind Auction

 A U.S. government auction for three wind leases off the coast of Massachusetts ended on Friday with record-setting bids totaling more than $400 million from European energy giants including Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Equinor ASA.. Photo: 
© benoitgrasser/AdobeStock

A U.S. government auction for three wind leases off the coast of Massachusetts ended on Friday with record-setting bids totaling more than $400 million from European energy giants including Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Equinor ASA.The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced the sale's three winners - Equinor Wind US LLC, Mayflower Wind Energy LLC, and Vineyard Wind LLC, at the conclusion of the two-day sale that attracted 11 bidders and lasted 32 rounds.Mayflower is a joint venture owned by Shell and EDP Renewables, a division of Portugal's EDP.

14 Dec 2018

INSIGHTS: Lorry Wagner, Ph.D., President, LEEDCo

Dr. Lorry Wagner has served as president of the Cleveland-based Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo) since May of 2010.LEEDCo is the public private partnership behind the effort to construct Icebreaker Wind, a 6 turbine 20.7 megawatt offshore wind energy demonstration project in Lake Erie, 8 miles off the shore of Cleveland. LEEDCo has received funding from the U.S. DOE under its Advanced Technology Demonstration Projects award and has partnered with Fred. Olsen Renewables of Norway. Dr.

26 Nov 2018

Damen: New Fast Crew Supplier for US Market

(Image: Damen)

Damen Shipyards Group has unveiled a new vessel design geared toward the developing offshore wind market in North America: the Fast Crew Supplier (FCS) 3410 service accommodation and transfer vessel (SATV).The new design builds on Damen designs that have been proven in the European renewables market. The main premise is the patented Damen Twin Axe bow design, which combines the Axe Bow with a catamaran hull to allow the vessel to cut through waves instead of slamming, thereby improving seakeeping and onboard comfort.

21 Nov 2018

Humphree: Steady as She Goes

Humphree makes inroads in North American markets with vessel stabilization technology.If you haven’t yet heard of Humphree – the Sweden-based supplier of vessel stabilization systems – then, more than likely, that’s about to change. The firm’s penetration into the North American commercial and leisure marine market has seen its equipment on several vessels, including high-profile deployments like the new Seastreak high-speed commuting ferry.Founded in 2002 by a team of hydrodynamic and marine engineers…

20 Nov 2018

Designing for the Winds of Change

The advent of U.S. offshore wind also brings the need for the quality and quantity of built-for-purpose vessels needed to sustain its momentum.As the long-awaited advent of offshore wind finally arrives on this side of the big pond, one question which continues to dominate the conversation is where (and when) the fit-for-purpose tonnage necessary for this great leap forward will come from. Just as important, stakeholders need to have confidence in the availability of proven vessel concepts…

22 Oct 2018

U.S. Announces Major Offshore Wind Developments

Gulf Island Fabricators constructed offshore wind turbine  jackets for Deepwater Wind’s Block Island Wind Project off Rhode Island. BOEM Photo/Sid Falk

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced three major developments in American offshore wind energy spanning from coast to coast.The Secretary spoke at the American Wind Energy Association’s Offshore Wind Conference and announced 1.) much-anticipated wind auction in federal waters off the coast of Massachusetts; 2.) the environmental review of a proposed wind project offshore Rhode Island; and 3.) the next steps to a first-ever wind auction in federal waters off of California.“I'm very bullish on offshore wind…

25 Sep 2018

Smarter Energy Policy Will Broaden Offshore Recovery

For the past few years, depressed commodity prices, stricter regulatory requirements and competition from onshore development at home and from other countries offering attractive offshore lease and royalty terms have had severe impacts on new exploration in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Thankfully, the tide appears to finally be turning.In August, Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 251 drew increased competition for offerings and $178 million in high bids, $53 million more than previous sale held in March.

26 Jul 2018

The Jones Act and Offshore Wind in Light of the Aeolus Energy Announcement

Emily Huggins Jones

As the domestic offshore wind industry comes to life, U.S. flag vessels will necessarily be part of that expanding equation.A potential sea change came with the recent announcement from Aeolus Energy Partners that the renewable installation and operation company was investing in a fleet of Jones Act-compliant vessels dedicated to the offshore wind industry. Long a barrier to entry for foreign and domestic prospectors alike, the Jones Act, a portion of the Merchant Marine Act of 1920…

06 Jun 2018

Blount, MAPC Ink Deal for Building South Boats’ CTV Designs

A 26-meter South Boats design (Image courtesy Blount Boats)

Rhode Island shipyard Blount Boats, Inc. said it has signed a sublicense agreement with Marine Applied Physics Corp. (MAPC) of Baltimore, Md., for the building of crew transfer vessels (CTV) designed by U.K. builder South Boats.South Boats has designed and built approximately 30 percent of the wind farm crew transfer vessels operating on European windfarms, and Blount Boats has held the U.S. license for the firm’s designs since 2011.In 2016, Blount delivered a South Boats 21-meter transfer vessel, Atlantic Pioneer, to Rhode Island Fast Ferry. The vessel is the first U.S.

19 Apr 2018

Gladding-Hearn Begins Rhode Island Ferry Build

(Photo: Gladding-Hearn)

Massachusetts based shipbuilder Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corporation, said it has begun building a second high-speed passenger ferry for Rhode Island Fast Ferry, Inc., scheduled to be delivered in 2019.The new 320-passenger, all-aluminum catamaran will operate on a new seasonal route between Quonset Point, R.I. and Block Island.The newbuild follows the 2012 delivery of Ava Pearl, the operator’s first high-speed catamaran built by the Somerset, Mass., shipyard, which…

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