CT Shipyard is converting a fishing boat for an East Coast offshore wind project

The Bridgeport shipyard has joined a growing number of marine companies to help meet the growing demand for vessels to serve the offshore wind farm industry being developed off the East Coast.

Hornblower Marine recently completed the conversion of a former commercial fishing boat into a fully operational crew transfer vessel for shoreline transfer operations. New Bedford, Mass.-based Coast Line Transfers is a service provider to the offshore wind industry and was involved in the development of the Vineyard Wind Project, which is currently under construction about 30 miles from Cape Cod and 15 miles south of Martha. Grape field.

Power from the Vineyard Wind project is expected to start flowing later this year, and the 800-megawatt wind farm, which will produce enough electricity for 400,000 homes and businesses, is expected to be fully operational by August or September next year.

Hornblower Marine’s conversion of the former fishing boat Nice Day Too, into a crew transport vessel for Captain Les Eldridge, marked the company’s first conversion job for an overseas client.

The company had previously converted one of its own ships, the offshore supply ship Gateway Endeavour, into a crew transport vessel. Hornblower Marine has a contract with GE Renewables, which makes and sells wind turbines, and needed to provide crew transfer support to the wind turbines at sea, said Tim O’Brien, senior vice president of Hornblower’s ferry and transportation division. Transitions.

O’Brien declined to divulge the price range for the conversions, which include modifying the front bow of the boats in question.

“It’s a very large sum,” he said of the cost.

Other modifications to the ships include the installation of various safety systems on board, modifications to the upper decks that allow for larger cargo storage areas, and upgrades that include larger windows in the pilot’s cockpit to allow those at the controls a full view of the passenger boarding.

The work being done by Hornblower Marine comes at a time when the offshore wind industry is investing heavily in the vessels needed to build wind farms. Companies in the industry have invested in more than 30 vessels needed to build offshore wind farms, as well as to sustain them for the future, according to the American Clean Energy Association, a renewable energy trade group.

The majority of vessels that offshore wind companies are currently investing in are crew transfer vessels, which are used to transport technicians who maintain wind turbines to their offshore sites.

Demand for ships to build and service the turbines that produce the energy is strong right now, because the scale of the proposed projects is so large, said Claire Richer, director of offshore wind at the American Clean Energy Association.

“This (amount of wind farms) is very common in other places, but it’s something we’re doing for the first time on the East Coast,” Reicher said.

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