GL Garrad Hassan says it has been awarded grants – in the amount of $500,000 and $200,000 – by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to identify optimal strategies for the installation, operation, and maintenance of offshore wind farms and to assess the readiness of U.S. ports to meet the needs of the industry.
For the first project, GL Garrad Hassan will undertake a detailed analysis of the current and future needs of the U.S. offshore wind industry for port facilities, namely 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.
The company says that 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 wind value chain.
For the second project, GL 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.
Building on GL Garrad Hassan's detailed reviews of the historical, current and future planned installation methodologies within the offshore wind sector, the results of this study will help the growing U.S. offshore wind industry avoid some of the pitfalls and setbacks suffered in European markets, the company explains.
In addition to the final reports of these studies – which will detail the methodology and findings of all phases of the projects – GL Garrad Hassan will provide the results to stakeholders in the form of stand-alone analysis tools. These tools will allow stakeholders to assess the capacities and identify opportunities with respect to their individual projects. Users will be able to examine individual port infrastructure against set offshore wind farm development criteria and run their own cost-of-energy analyses for the installation and operation of a project based on their own inputs.
During the final stages of both studies, GL Garrad Hassan will also conduct workshops that will demonstrate to industry participants the application of the analysis tools developed as part of each study, as well as strive to raise awareness of the work conducted in the studies and, most importantly, gather further feedback on the outcomes from stakeholders.
The grants awarded to GL Garrad Hassan are part of a broader DOE offshore wind initiative that has awarded over $43 million to projects aiming to accelerate technical innovations, lower costs and shorten the timeline for deploying offshore wind energy systems.