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The Philly Shipyard has been awarded a $200 million deal to construct an offshore wind turbine assembly vessel

The Philly Shipyard just received a $200 million deal to construct a cutting-edge vessel for the offshore wind turbine construction. A 461-foot-long undersea rock installation vessel has been commissioned by the Texas-centered Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company. The ship will hold 45 crew members as well as 20,000 megatons of rock, which will be deposited on the ocean floor to serve as foundations for new wind turbines.

If the first vessel’s construction goes smoothly, Great Lakes has the choice to purchase a second vessel from Shipyard, bringing the total contract balance to over $380 million. The first boat is expected to be completed in late 2024. If Great Lakes chooses to build another vessel, it is going to be finished by late 2025.

According to Great Lakes Senior Vice President Bill Hanson, the boat will most likely be used someplace on the east coast between Virginia and Massachusetts. According to Thomas Grunwald, who serves as the shipyard’s vice president, the workers are thrilled to be building “a vessel that will be critical in reaching the nation’s ambitious offshore wind ambitions.”

The announcement of the latest high-tech boat occurred after the Biden administration revealed plans earlier this year to raise the nation’s offshore wind capacity to 30 gigawatts per year by 2030. That’s enough to supply electricity to ten million homes. Wind energy costs are predicted to drop by over half during that time, making it more viable with other kinds of energy like natural gas.

Even though Pennsylvania has no offshore wind turbines, the amount of energy generated by wind has over doubled since 2010 to about 3,900 gigawatt-hours, accounting for 1.68 percent of the state’s energy demands. Two of Pennsylvania’s Atlantic Ocean neighbors are attempting to expand their offshore wind capacity.

Only two wind farms exist in New Jersey, which has 130 miles of coastline. One is near Bayonne, and the other is in Atlantic City. They generate roughly 22,000-megawatt hours per year, which is only 0.04 percent of the state’s energy requirements. As part of his ambition to turn the state’s energy grid 100 percent renewable by 2050, Governor Phil Murphy hopes to deploy enough turbines to generate 7,500 megawatts of offshore wind power, sufficient to supply 3.2 million households, before 2035.

The Ocean Wind plan, a partnership between Danish energy giant Orsted and a local utility company PSE&G to construct out 1,100 megawatts of turbines roughly 15 miles off the coast of South Jersey, is a crucial component of that plan. The first phase of the project will be completed in 2024.

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