What infrastructure is needed for offshore wind development?

Fundamentally, the development of offshore wind aims to deliver low-cost, DOMESTIC, clean energy to densely populated communities that hold a rich demand for it. Because of the challenges that are associated with other forms of energy, most states have strongly embraced the development of offshore wind and, with this, the development of related port, construction and fabrication infrastructure.

This presents a real challenge as a quick look at the map to the right reveals a tremendous number of industrial-scale development activities clustered along the coastline. Each individual project consists of multiple billions of dollars of capital investments and will use the world’s largest vessels along with hundreds of workers to install. The projects will also deploy the largest wind turbine generators to date. These turbines will sit atop steel foundations, weighing hundreds of tons each, and secured to the seabed with deep piles. Grybowski explains, “we’re talking about really complicated construction with a long lifetime”. Offshore wind farms are generally designed to actively operate for about 20 to 30 years.

The infrastructure that supports the growing wind industry encompasses every part of the manufacturing and turbine installation process. This includes the selection of a turbine site; selecting the appropriate turbine design; acquiring all the materials needed for production and fabrication; manufacturing each component; transporting sizeable components to installation sites; installing turbine components; connecting the turbine to the appropriate electrical grid; and maintaining each component throughout the lifetime of the turbine. Streamlining this process will bring more affordable wind energy to consumers across the country. Source

Considerations for OWE

OWE development is possible under certain workforce and infrastructure conditions

Transport
  • Navigation Channel Width
  • Navigation Channel Depth
  • Height Restrictions
  • Device Type
  • Metocean Conditions
  • Vessel Availability
  • Component Size
  • Safe Harbor
Infrastructure
  • Skilled Labor Force
  • Quayside Space
  • Road/Rail Connection
  • Component Size
  • Device Type
  • Crane Capacity
  • Quayside bearing Capacity
  • Dry0Dock/Shipyard
  • Vessel Availability
  • Vessel Berths

Port Classifications and Functions 

1

Fabrication and Construction Port (FCP)

This kind of port is responsible for construction staging, pre-assembly of the turbines, transport of the hub and devices, and the fabrication of nacelle, blades, etc.

2

Quick Reaction Port (QRP)

This kind of port is responsible for transferring crew members, operations and maintenance of the wind farm, and any pre-installation that needs to take place. 

3

Assembly Port (AP)

This last kind of port is responsible for the final assembly of the turbines, marine tow to bring the turbines to their final location, and any large staging and/org storage that needs to take place. 

 

New bedford, massachusetts (MA)

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ORE Installation, Staging, Operations and Management:

  • Vineyard Wind – 800 MW
  • Mayflower Wind Energy – 800 MW
  • Baystate Wind – 2000 MW
    Total: 4400 MW

Major Players:

– Avangrid/CIP
– Shell/EDP
Ørsted/Eversource

Strategic Plans: 

Continuing to expand commercially by deepening channels and berths and enlarging terminals to continue supporting the growth in offshore wind.

Other Activities:

Commercial fishing
An average of 1 million pounds of seafood enters and exits the port by truck, rail, and boat every day
Aquaculture
There are currently 8,400 acres of open water available for commercial shellfishing within New Bedford’s jurisdiction. The New Bedford Port Authority, in partnership with the City of New Bedford is currently developing the regulations and processes to make it easy for commercial aquaculture to take root in the city.
Recreational boaters
Other vessels not classified as active commercial fishing vessels such as yachts, tugs, barges
Pope’s Island Marina
A municipal facility located in the heart of Buzzard’s Bay. With 204 slips, 810’ of fixed pier and over 300 moorings, we have accommodations for seasonal and transient boaters.)
Ferries to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket

Priority Concerns:

According to the U.S. Jones Act Compliant Offshore Wind Turbine Installation Vessel Study, an ideal port would have no restrictions regarding the horizontal clearance and air draft. The Port of New Bedford and The Port of Virginia do not have such restrictions.

Additional Resources:

Port of New Bedford’s website

new london, connecticut (ct)

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ORE Installation, Staging, Operations and Management:

  • South Fork, RI – 132 MW
  • Revolution, RI/CT – 704 MW
  • Sunrise, NY – 880 MW
  • Constitution, CT – 400 MW
    Total: 2116 MW

Major Players:

Ørsted/Eversource

Strategic Plans:

Redeveloping one of its state piers to serve as a dedicated terminal for offshore wind development. The upgrades to its infrastructure and heavy-lift capabilities are expected to be completed by Spring 2022 — this includes decreased restrictions for beam, draft, and others.

Other Activities:

With New London’s unobstructed access to its deepwater port as well as Connecticut’s vibrant manufacturing community, the region has a major advantage in maritime development initiatives.

Additional Resources:

Connecticut Port Authority website

tradepoint atlantic, maryland (md)

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ORE Installation, Staging, Operations and Management:

  • Skip Jack, DE – 120 MW
  • Maryland Offshore Wind, MD – 270 MW
  • Ocean Wind, NJ – 1100 MW
    Total: 1490 MW

Major Players:

Ørsted
– U.S. Wind
Ørsted/PSEG

Strategic Plans: 

Plans for its East/West berth and finger pier to be dredged to increase the water depth. Ørsted U.S. Offshore Wind announced an agreement to develop an offshore wind energy staging center at Tradepoint Atlantic. Improvements will include strengthening ground bearing capacity at the port to allow heavy-lift cranes and specialized transporters to move wind turbine components, some weighing as much as 2,000 tons, from ships onto the site.

Other Activities:

– Tradepoint Atlantic is a proud and active member of the Port of Baltimore providing deep water access to an existing 50′ main shipping channel, and four 2,200′ linear foot berths and a 1,150′ finger pier, all currently available, functional, and facilitating the flow of water-born commerce with ample storage capacity.- Over 900 acres reserved for marine-associated activity
– Development focused for multi-commodity capabilities
– Economical transit buildings for covered storage
– Ample laydown space for project cargo, bulk/break-bulk cargo, and auto ro-ro storage
– 2200 foot East/West berth in turning basin area with 36′ of water
– 1150 foot finger pier with 41′ of water
– Separate barge berth area with 20′ of water
– Reserved acreage for drop-log/transfer lot to non-TWIC drivers
– Rail-serviced sites for transloading of dry and liquid bulk
– Site plans maximize efficiency of traffic and cargo flows
– Plans for East/West berth to be dredged to 40′ of water
– Plans for finger pier to be dredged to 50′ of water
– Access to existing 50′ main shipping channel
– ON-SITE SERVICES:
Multiple scales on the property for fast service, and experienced Host Terminals
– INTERSTATE MOVEMENTS:
Unparalleled access to interstate highways with I-695 bisecting the property, and easy access to both I-95 for north/south movements and I-70 for movements going west
– DEEP WATER ACCESS:
As part of the Port of Baltimore, Tradepoint Marine provides direct deep water access to on-site berths, and connectivity to other Port of Baltimore terminals
– RAIL CONNECTIVITY:
Direct access to two Class I railroads (CSX, and Norfolk Southern)

Additional Resources:

Tradepoint Atlantic Industry website

bridgeport, connecticut (ct)

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ORE Installation, Staging, Operations and Management:

  • Park City Wind, CT – 804 MW
    Total: 804 MW

Major Players:

– Avangrid/CIP

Strategic Plans: 

Vineyard Wind announced in 2019 its proposed “Park City Wind” offshore wind port to transform Bridgeport into an offshore wind hub. Vineyard Wind will partner with McAllister Towing and Transportation Co. to redevelop an 18.3-acre waterfront industrial property in Bridgeport. A renovated Barnum Landing property will host hundreds of local workers hired to do critical foundation transition piece steel fabrication and final outfitting. Vineyard Wind is also committed to making Bridgeport home to Park City Wind’s operations and maintenance (O&M) hub for the life of the project.

Other Activities:

The Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Steamboat Co. carries cars, bicycles and passengers between Bridgeport and Port Jefferson on Long Island’s North Shore, with regularly scheduled ferries on weekdays and weekends, and increased frequency in the summer.

Additional Resources:

Connecticut Port Authority

port of providence, rhode island (ri)

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ORE Installation, Staging, Operations and Management:

  • Block Island, RI – 30 MW
  • Revolution, RI/CT – 704 MW
    Total: 734 MW

Major Players:

Ørsted/Eversource

Strategic Plans: 

South Quay Marine Terminal would be used to support the development, operations, and maintenance of new offshore wind projects such as Revolution Wind. In its plan, a 1,020-foot-long waterfront wall, a dock for ferry, fire, and harbormaster vessels, two concrete platforms for cargo and cranes, two deepwater berths, a small warehouse, administrative buildings, and an eight-acre heavy-load-bearing lay-down area will be in operation by 2022.

Other Activities:
– The Port of Providence is New England’s second biggest deep water port and a strategically located Northeast port anchored by a strong tenant base each of which utilizes the port as a distribution center within the New England area.
– ProvPort’s tenants are primarily major companies with a long history at the port.
– ProvPort covers over 115 acres and contains 4,200 feet of berthing space, 130,000 square feet of covered storage, and more than 20 acres of open lay down area. With on-dock rail service and 40 feet alongside water depth ProvPort is just 1 mile from the country’s interstate highway network.
– Rail service includes three rail spurs allowing direct vessel-to-rail transfers, indoor rail, and alongside rail at the open lay-down area. The rail is connected to all major railroads offering service to anywhere in the US and Canada. Primary covered warehouse space includes the “Ace Warehouse”, containing 130 thousand square feet next to covered rail line. All storage areas, whether covered or open, are served by adjacent rail.

Additional Resources:

ProvPort website

brayton point port, massachusetts (ma)

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Strategic Plans: 

Transforming into a renewable hub, manufacturing center, and an internal seaport. It has completed upgrades in 2020 to support heavy-lift port operations and receive deep-draft vessels at the site. In May 2019, grid asset developer Anbaric signed an agreement with the site owner, Commercial Development Company (CDC), to build a 1,200-MW high voltage direct current converter and 400-MW battery storage plant at Brayton Point to support the offshore wind industry.

Other Activities:
Once the largest coal-fired power plant in New England, today Brayton Point is transforming into a renewable energy hub, manufacturing center, and an international seaport

Additional Resources:

Brayton Point Commerce Center website

port of virginia, virginia (va)

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ORE Installation, Staging, Operations and Management:

  • Kitty Hawk, NC – 2500 MW
  • Coastal Virgina Offshore Wind, VA – 2640 MW
    Total: 5140 MW

Major Players:

– Avangrid
– Ørsted/Dominion

Strategic Plans: 

There are additional terminals available within The Port of Virginia that are also suitable for offshore wind development. The Port of Virginia is 30 minutes to the open ocean, never freezes and still has plenty of other land along the rivers for manufacturing and assembly.

Other Activities:
– Serves ocean carriers, cargo owners, NVOCCs (Non-Vessel Operating Common Carriers), freight forwarders, motor carriers, etc.
– Capabilities: ULCV Cargo, Container, Rail transit times, Reefer, Breakbulk, RoRo, Barge

Priority Concerns:
No restrictions regarding the horizontal clearance and air craft.

Additional Resources:

Port of Virginia website

Portsmouth Marine Terminal, Virginia (VA)

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Strategic Plans: 

Portsmouth Marine Terminal (PMT) is dedicated to offshore wind manufacturing and assembly, and is almost 300 acres, with 40 acres of PMT leased to Ørsted for staging and load-out. There is $40 million in the 2021 state budget for infrastructure improvements directly associated with offshore wind economic development opportunities at PMT.

Other Activities:

– PMT occupies 287 acres of land and is located on the west bank of the Elizabeth River. The terminal has 3,540 feet of wharf, three berths, and is able to handle containers, break-bulk, and roll-on/roll-off cargo. The facility is served by CSX directly and Norfolk Southern via the Norfolk Portsmouth Beltline Railway.
– The 44-acre Empty Container Yard is in service and the warehouse adjacent to the VIT operations building is currently being leased. As NIT and VIG continue to expand capacity, the Virginia Port Authority is currently assessing the best use of the facility to promote commerce and economic development for Virginia.

Additional Resources:

Portsmouth Marine Terminal website

Hampton Roads, Virginia (VA)

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Strategic Plans: 

Dominion Energy has already committed to creating the expertise to position Hampton Roads to be a supply chain hub for U.S. offshore wind efforts and create thousands of clean energy jobs in Virginia. GO Virginia has awarded a $529,788 grant to the Hampton Roads Alliance to attract a supply chain for the offshore wind industry to the region.

Other Activities:

Exports include tobacco and paper products, while imports include petroleum products, ores, and automobile parts. Shipbuilding, food products, and chemicals are important local industries.

Additional Resources:

Port of Virginia website

South Brooklyn Marine Terminal, New York (NY)

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ORE Installation, Staging, Operations and Management:

  • Empire Wind, NY – 1500 MW
    Total: 1500 MW

Major Players:

Equinor/BP

Other Activities:
– This 88-acre site is the nearest New York auto port to the open ocean. The use of SBMT allows barges carrying ship containers to be ferried from New Jersey to Brooklyn rather than being driven through bridges and tunnels.
– Tug & Barge (Handles general cargo, special cargo, automobiles and other vehicles, break-bulk, and other commodities.)

The following uses will be permitted:
– Dry bulk and break bulk stevedoring.
– Vehicle and wheeled equipment import/export utilizing maritime transport.
– “Special project cargo,” that is, the waterborne movement of oversize or heavy cargo, such as turbines, heavy construction components, and special equipment.
– Waterborne freight warehousing and distribution.
– Maritime freight transload to and from truck and rail.
– Maritime construction.
– Maritime support services such as tug and ship repair companies.
– Lay-berthing and dockside repair of industrial and commercial vessels; and other industrial maritime dependent uses that can take advantage of the site’s waterside location.

The following uses will not be permitted:
– Passenger embark or debarkation via vessel of any kind.
– Any ferries, excursion boats, tour boats, historical vessels, or personal vessels, except for layberthing or repair.
– Parking, except as employee, customer, or vendor parking ancillary to a Permittee’s primary maritime use.
– Any transfer, storage, or movement of hazardous, dangerous, or noxious materials, including Municipal Solid Waste.
– Filming or photoshoots.
– Events of any kind.

 

Port of Atlantic City, New Jersey (NJ)

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ORE Installation, Staging, Operations and Management:

  • Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind – 2500 MW
    Total: 2500 MW

Major Players:

Shell/EDF

Strategic Plans: 

New Jersey State is planning to become an offshore wind project hub for New Jersey and the Mid-Atlantic, beginning construction on the New Jersey Wind Port (Lower Alloways Creek site). This port will have no horizontal clearance limits and will serve offshore wind projects in New Jersey and the Mid-Atlantic. Because of its size, location, and, most importantly, its unlimited air draft restrictions, this site has been identified to be developed into a major offshore wind port. Construction of the first of two phases is set to begin in 2021 and will be accessible by 2023. Phase 1 will develop a 30-acre site to accommodate marshaling activities and a 25-acre component manufacturing site. Phase 2 adds another 150+ acres to accommodate expanded marshaling activities and extensive manufacturing facilities for turbine components like blades and nacelles.

Other Activities:

Relevant to:
Logistics Services, Cargotec Solutions LLC, Kalmar Americas Region, Cargotec USA Inc., Cargotec Services, Xrec Corporation, UBM Global Trade, Ceasefire Technology, Key Energy Services, Recmediation, Inc., Ceres Terminals Incorporated, Hilman Rollers

General Information
Water location: North Atlantic Ocean (Ocean)
Anchorage depth: 3.4m – 4.6m
Cargo pier depth:11m – 12.2m
Oil terminal depth: N/A
Dry dock: N/A
Harbor size: Very Small
Railway size: N/A
Harbor type: Coastal, Natural
Max size: Up to 500 feet in length
Repairs: Limited
Shelter: Good

Additional Resources:

Containerport Information

Port of Cleveland, Ohio (OH)

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ORE Installation, Staging, Operations and Management:

  • Icebreaker, OH – 21 MW
    Total: 21 MW

Major Players:

LEEDCo/Fred Olsen

Other Activities:

The Port of Cleveland is one of the largest ports on the Great Lakes. Over 20,000 jobs and $3.5 billion in annual economic activity are tied to the roughly 13 million tons of cargo that move through Cleveland Harbor each year. The Port of Cleveland is the only local government agency whose sole mission is to spur job creation and economic vitality in Cuyahoga County. The Port is an economic engine for our community, a key to Northeast Ohio’s global competitiveness, and a crucial partner in building Cuyahoga County’s future.
– The Port of Cleveland serves as the premier international multimodal trade hub on the Great Lakes and the gateway to America’s Heartland. The Port provides a critical connection between Northeast Ohio and the global economy.

Additional Resources:

Port of Cleveland website

Port Jefferson, New York (NY)

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ORE Operations and Management:

  • Sunrise, NY – 880 MW
    Total: 880 MW

Major Players:

Ørsted/Eversource

Other Activities:

The Port Jefferson Recreation Department strives to provide leisure-time activities and events to all populations. From seasonal youth programs in village facilities and fields, to Senior trips and luncheons, Recreation staff provides ongoing program development in response to participant profiles.
– The port is important to the surrounding community and tourism economy.

 

Port Cortlandt, New York (NY)

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Strategic Plans: 

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) confirmed in 2020 the Port Cortlandt waterfront site is among 11 sites competing for up to $200 million in grant funding to develop critical port infrastructure. Port Cortlandt will be the state’s next offshore wind economic hub, including vital wind turbine manufacturing, fabrication, storage, and launching facilities.

Other Activities:

Port Cortlandt is a proposed waterfront property ideally suited to the needs of a modern offshore wind infrastructure facility that will also fill the needs for port, manufacturing, fabrication, and other supply-chain services.

Additional Resources:

Port Cortlandt website

Offshore Wind Energy Transmission

and Interconnection

One of the central challenges with meeting national OWE targets is energy transmission constraints, including both land-based interconnections and transmission and offshore transmission via undersea cables and offshore substations. Continued OWE development will likely require advanced transmission technology, as well as interregional energy coordination and the expansion of onshore energy infrastructure. 

Tufts Power systems and markets research group

This report outlines the progress being made with respect to state offshore wind (OSW) commitments and project procurements. It focuses on a review of interconnection queues and the regional transmission topology

NROC/MARCO Transmission Webinar Series 

This webinar series, presented by the Northeast Regional Ocean Council (NROC) and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Ocean Council (MARCO),  provides an understanding of the current framework for transmission planning on land, and issues that are emerging as planning extends offshore.

 

Atlantic offshore wind transmission study

This study is currently underway and evaluates coordinated transmission solutions to enable offshore wind energy deployment along the U.S. Atlantic Coast, addressing gaps in existing analyses.

Atlantic Offshore Wind
Transmission Literature Review
and Gaps Analysis

This report  summarizes current publicly available transmission analyses along the Atlantic Coast.

“The future northeast electricity grid will require systems-level upgrades both onshore and offshore in order to
reach ambitious state-level goals for carbon reduction and OSW procurement. Interconnections between the
onshore and offshore grids must be built at unprecedented scale and speed along the U.S. Atlantic Coast. The
slated OSW installations could easily overwhelm and congest the existing land-based grid, damaging the
industry’s reputation and short-changing its growth potential.”

Tuffs power systems and market research