US offshore wind industry getting first subsea rock installation vessel

Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation (GLDD) is developing the first U.S.-flagged Jones Act compliant vessel for subsea rock installation.

Ulstein Design and Solutions is in charge of the conceptual and regulatory design engineering of the inclined fallpipe vessel.

GLDD’s vessel will be built by a U.S. shipyard on the Gulf Coast. While it would initially serve the East Coast, the company believes it will be available as offshore wind projects develop along the Gulf and West Coasts.

Pending federal permitting and regulatory approvals, as well as a final investment decision, the vessel will be operational as early as Q1 2024, to coincide with major offshore wind project construction timelines.

According to GLDD, the vessel represents a critical advancement in establishing a U.S.-based rock supply chain network spanning eastern seaboard states with active offshore wind leases.

“U.S. offshore wind’s potential growth could be a true economic stimulus for America. We believe this is the optimal time for us to leverage our extensive specialized vessel expertise to enter this exciting market now coming to the United States,” said Lasse Petterson, GLDD’s CEO and President.

“We are initiating this project because we firmly believe that a Jones Act compliant offshore wind subsea rock installation vessel is a critical foundational piece required to advance the U.S. offshore wind energy industry.”