Block Island News

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…

12 Apr 2018

Top Five Trends in Offshore Wind

A turbine at the Hywind Scotland floating wind farm offshore Scotland (Photo: Arne Reidar Mortensen / Statoil)

As technologies mature and dramatic cost-cutting continues, the future is looking bright for offshore wind. Below are five trends to keep an eye on.Follow the LeaderOffshore wind’s established leader, Europe, will continue to show the way forward and build capacity. At the end of 2016, nearly 88 percent of the world’s offshore wind installations were located in European waters. In 2017, Europe saw a record 3,148 MW of net additional offshore wind capacity installed, with 560 new offshore wind turbines across 17 wind farms, according to WindEurope.

30 Mar 2018

Fred. Olsen Windcarrier, Seacor Team Up for US Offshore Wind Market

Photo: Fred. Olsen Windcarrier

Falcon Global, a subsidiary of Seacor Marine Holdings and Fred. Olsen Windcarrier  a wholly owned subsidiary of Bonheur ASA announced that they have reached a cooperation agreement whereby each party will exclusively contribute vessels and marine/installation crews to the market and operate a full spread of offshore wind installation and feeder vessels for the US offshore wind market. The Falcon Global fleet consists of one of the largest existing US-flag and Jones-Act compliant lift boats in the U.S.

14 Mar 2018

Offshore Wind Drives Demand for US Support Vessels

(Photo: Volvo Penta)

The offshore energy boom: more than wind. Domestic offshore wind also promises to generate demand for new, efficiently propelled support vessels. The U.S. offshore wind farm industry, now in its infancy, is on the verge of a massive growth surge, and the boom will be felt throughout the American maritime industry. The U.S. Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy reported last year that there is a “robust pipeline of projects to ensure growth in the country’s nascent offshore wind market…

21 Feb 2018

What Does the Jones Act Mean for Offshore Wind?

For the lifetime of the Block Island project, Atlantic Wind Transfers, using the Jones Act compliant and Blount-built Atlantic Pioneer, will provide crew and equipment transfer services to meet these key logistical requirements. (Photo: Blount Boats)

Offshore wind power continues to gain momentum in the United States. How will the Jones Act affect the development, operation and maintenance of offshore wind farms? After years of planning and some unsuccessful attempts, offshore wind power developers finally have their first success in the United States. The Block Island Wind Farm, a 30-megawatt wind farm located just off the coast of Rhode Island, began operations in December 2016, fulfilling the goal of the project’s developer, Deepwater Wind LLC, to build America’s first offshore wind farm.

23 Jan 2018

D-Day Ship Turned Ferry Repowered

Photo: Twin Disc

As part of the June 6, 1944 Normandy landings, the USS LST-510 (landing ship for tanks) delivered 200 GIs, and 70 tanks and jeeps to Omaha Beach. She then anchored offshore to serve as an impromptu hospital ship for the over 150,000 Allied wounded. For three months following the invasion, she ferried injured soldiers back to England and supplies back to the front, evading German U-boats and dive bombers. She was awarded a Battle Star for her meritorious participation. Thought to be the last D-Day ship still in active service…

29 Nov 2017

Volvo Penta Stakes Position in Wind Farm Support Vessels

Photo: Volvo Penta

Volvo Penta has emerged as a leading supplier of propulsion systems for support boats in the booming offshore wind farm industry in Europe, and is poised to capture a significant position as new wind farms come into service in North America. “Wind farm support vessels operate under some of the world’s most difficult conditions,” said Jens Bering, vice president of marine sales for Volvo Penta of the Americas. “They must be able to work 24/7 in high winds and heavy seas delivering crew and materials quickly and safely to the offshore towers without wasting time and fuel.

27 Nov 2017

Wind Energy Workboats: A US Offshore Build-up

Pioneers: Block Island, RI, America’s first wind park. (Photo: AWEA/Deepwater Wind)

Block Island — U.S.-based Deepwater Wind’s five-turbine, 30-megawatt wind park — was the first. It showed what was possible, what might not have been optimal and how long it all takes. Since then, incentives for onshore-wind have been curbed, while a tax credit for offshore wind has been extended. Wind parks are in the works. States have power companies buying offshore wind energy, and experienced offshore operators are hiring the new wind-service vessels from elements of their oil-and-gas supply chain. The Jones Act, too, is being overcome by fleet owners and designers joining the U.S.

03 Jan 2017

Op/Ed: Opportunities for US Shipyards in 2017 and Beyond

Matthew Paxton (Photo: SCA)

SCA’s Matt Paxton weighs in on the state of domestic shipbuilding – workboat building & everything in between. As President of the Shipbuilders Council of America, the national trade association representing the U.S. shipyard industrial base, we are constantly evaluating the status of the nation’s commercial vessel building and repair base. American shipyards continue to build to the highest standards for diverse range of customers. These vessels built by American workers go on to serve an integral part to our national economic well-being and basic security responsibilities.

27 Apr 2017

Buoy Shot and Sunk off Block Island

The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Ida Lewis observe a submerged buoy in the water off Block Island on April 24, 2017. The Ida Lewis is a 175-foot buoy tender homeported in Newport, R.I. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Patrick Morkis)

A U.S. Coast Guard crew was conducting regular aids-to-navigation maintenance when they found a buoy submerged near Block Island, R.I. When the crew raised the 12,000-pound buoy on Monday, they discovered it was riddled with 20 bullet holes. Clay Head buoy number 7 marks a large rock three feet below the water's surface and is supposed to be key navigational tool for mariners. Instead it turned into a navigational hazard on a route frequently transited by ferries providing critical supplies to Block Island.

15 Aug 2017

Undersea Technology: A Strategic Rhode Island Advantage

Molly Donohue Magee

In 1869, the U.S. Navy’s first research facility—the Naval Torpedo Station—was built on Newport, Rhode Island’s Goat Island. This rich history continues today, as the state is home to the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, which provides the technical foundation to ensure the U.S. Navy’s undersea superiority. Fitting for “the Ocean State,” we have identified more than 170 Rhode Island organizations that touch undersea technology—and we believe that is a conservative count. We are a cluster leader not just in New England but indeed in the entire country.

06 Oct 2017

NOIA Appoints Four to BoD

Martin Stauble

National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) Chairman David Welch has appointed four new members to the association’s Board of Directors. The appointments were announced today during NOIA’s fall meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where the association is commemorating 45 years of commitment to America’s offshore energy industry. Today, the oil and gas industry, long centered in the Gulf of Mexico, produces 17% of America’s domestic oil and 5% of our domestic natural gas, while off the coast of Rhode Island…

28 Dec 2016

Innovative Boats: Marine News' Best of 2016

Image: Vard Marine

Marine News looks back at the past 12 months and showcases the best of North America’s workboat design shop and shipyard output. In a year where some stakeholders might not rank 2016 as the best of years in the shipyard or on the waterfront, we might disagree. And, there is plenty to write about. New contracts, deliveries and designs all combine to show that the collective workboat waterfront is moving forward, with technology, the environment and replacement tonnage requirements as the main drivers.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Mar 2019 - Cruise Shipping

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