Cape Wind has announced that it has signed a contract with Weeks/Manson Joint Venture (WMJV) to serve as the lead construction contractor.
Cape Wind will become America’s first offshore wind farm and will help initiate the US domestic offshore wind industry and related supply chain. Long term Power Purchase Agreements have already been signed with electric utilities National Grid and NSTAR. The project is currently in its financing phase.
WMJV will install the offshore wind turbines using a fleet of installation vessels including the R.D. MacDonald, the first special purpose offshore wind installation vessel built in the United States. Fall River Electrical Associates of Fall River, Massachusetts will provide subcontracting services to WMJV and will perform electric outfitting work for the project. The Boston & New England Maritime Trades Council, AFL-CIO, will provide skilled workers to WMJV to actually build Cape Wind.
“This project will combine the best of American maritime suppliers, engineers and constructors with the most experienced European technology providers to ensure America’s first offshore wind farm performs to world class standards” said Cape Wind President Jim Gordon. “Achieving this objective will help catalyze a new industry that will deliver an inexhaustible clean energy resource and thousands of new jobs for our region and country.”
Vice President of Weeks Marine and Project Director for WMJV Mr Rick Palmer added that Weeks Marine has been pursuing the offshore wind market for over 10 years. The company first began plans to build the R.D. MacDonald installation vessel in January 2011 in preparation for the emergence of the US offshore wind industry and regards the vessel as a key link in the sectors domestic supply chain.
The R.D. MacDonald is a jack-up barge which was initially launched in Jacksonville, Florida, in 2012. It will be fitted with a crane in Houma, Louisiana, later in 2015. The crane will have a 280-foot boom capable of reaching over 350 feet into the air when jacked-up offshore. It will be able to transport three wind turbines at one time with racks to carry the turbine blades.
WMJV is a partnership between two leading US marine construction firms, Weeks Marine of Cranford, New Jersey and Manson Construction Co of Seattle, Washington.
Weeks Marine is a marine contractor specialising in marine construction, dredging and tunnelling operating both in the US and Canada. The company was founded in 1919 and with its wholly owned subsidiaries, Healy Tibbitts Builders and McNally International, serves markets throughout North America, South America, the Caribbean and the Pacific Rim.
Heavy civil marine contractor Manson Construction Co. maintains a fleet of heavy marine equipment which includes 60 specialized vessels and over 50 barges. It was established in 1905 and offers dredging, waterfront construction, bridge building, heavy lifts, and offshore services.