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Project Description

The objective of the research (from RFP) “is to provide information and recommendations that ensure that the maritime aspects, both vessel and port interface, of OSW development do not impede the state’s desire to make a significant contribution to the achievement of the green electricity production objectives set by the federal government and New Jersey’s 2011 Energy Master Plan. Research should be specific to vessel requirements, characteristics needs and costs, and, the land-use/wharf-side aspects of maritime port facilities as they relate to OSW industry development. Research should not include OSW siting, a discussion of overall costs/benefits and/or environmental considerations.”

Literature Review

Best Practice This research will include a comprehensive literature review related to offshore wind installation support including the provision of vessels and port infrastructure. Best practices will be defined for institutional and regulatory concerns. The research team will draw on lessons learned from other countries. The review will include operational standards and environmental aspects of supporting wind farm development. The primary source of lessons learned is Europe. However, the maritime requirements of the U.S. (primarily labor, safety and security) are different and so consideration will be given to incorporating those variations. In addition, the literature review will scan US East Coast plans to fill out the context for region-wide opportunities that may have synergies with the successful development of the NJ offshore wind market.


The offshore wind farm equipment characteristics will be used to identify the appropriate maritime assets to carry the project to its implementation. The characteristics of the components that make up the offshore wind energy system, their dimensions, weight, design, and the equipment that would handle them safely and reliably while in transport and through installation, will be the input in identifying the maritime assets for the project. Thus, the study will identify the maritime equipment needs, based on U.S. standards, in order to carry out the development plan throughout all the phases of the offshore wind farm life. The study will also identify the equipment needs for the operation and maintenance of the offshore wind farm after the development is completed. In addition to the maritime assets characteristics, the study will also provide equipment capital cost, and operations and maintenance costs. Furthermore, since maritime equipment and operations are subject to various rules and regulations (labor, safety, security, etc.), the study would identify all the U.S. rules and regulations associated with maritime equipment operations, including the Jones Act requirements in order to provide compliance of maritime equipment and operations.

Maritime Assets (Vessels)

There are different types of vessels that are specially designed for offshore wind farms based on various requirements such as installation area, sea conditions, wind turbine size, construction materials, vessel capabilities, and installation methods. The team will identify current offshore wind farm vessel types regarding specifications, operating characteristics, capabilities, purchase costs, and operating costs. In addition, the team will evaluate various options to obtain and operate these offshore wind farm vessels. The offshore wind farm vessels can be built domestically or abroad (subject to Jones Act requirements), chartered, or bought in the second hand market.

Maritime assets are obtained by building them new, buying second hand or chartering (“chartering” is equivalent to “leasing” a vehicle). The team will evaluate the alternatives on the basis of duration of use, cost, financing, and other aspects, and will provide the advantage and disadvantage of each alternative. For example, for this project, vessels might be required for a specified amount of time or for a specific number of trips to deliver the offshore wind farm energy system equipment. Therefore, should the vessels be bought or chartered?

What are the different types of charters that could be applied in this case? What are the financial alternatives for each decision? The team will determine the financial and economic value of each alternative and, as stated before, the advantage and disadvantage of each alternative for decision making purposes.