With new offshore wind farms receiving approval in the US, construction and engineering firms are preparing to take on new renewable energy projects. The US federal government recently signed an offshore wind deal with California, which has initial projections up to 4.6 GW of installed capacity for the west coast. Sarens – provider of crane rental services, heavy lifting, and engineered transport – is confident that these positive developments are only the beginning of success for the US offshore wind industry.
In May, the Biden administration announced its approval of the Vineyard Wind project, the first commercial offshore wind farm approved for use in the US. For the United States, this was a critical step as part of its strategy to reach the 2050 goals posed by the Paris Climate Agreement and invest in renewable energy sources after recent reports showed that it’s not currently on track to reach net-zero emissions.
Major projects expected
In Northern Europe, offshore wind has grown immensely over the last 10 years, with every country with a coastline investing in this technology. The US is a different story, as the last decade has been amess with project licenses being denied and other difficulties to secure approval. The potential of offshore wind to transform the power grid of any coastal state in the country is enormous, and not only that, the industry is also projected to add up to 77,000 jobs to the sector by 2030.
Sarens, a global leader in heavy lifting and transport, is one of many companies involved in the renewables sector that expects to take on major projects over the next decade. The crane giant has been involved in the installation of such projects for years, entering the offshore wind market in 2008 to assist in the installation of the first offshore wind farm with 5-MW turbines in the world.
Industry response to the Vineyard Wind Farm approval
“The approval of the US’ first full-scale wind farm is a sea change in the American energy mix and bodes well for explosive growth in this sector. What was once a curiosity is now mainstream technology. We’re very excited to see this important progress being made in offshore wind as we bridge the gap and catch up to Europe,” says Grant Mitchell, the Director of Sarens North America.
Offshore wind is projected to soon be a driver for crane demand in the US market, and the company plans to take advantage of its experience in European offshore wind projects. Crane and heavy lift capacity are critical for such projects as the load capacity and availability of cranes places a limit on the size and weight of the components wind farms can deploy.
“Having the first major project approved will be the catalyst to put future projects in motion all across the east coast. Our team at Sarens has been involved in the offshore wind market for years, and we believe there is great potential for this industry, which has really gone untapped for a number of years in the US,” continues Mitchell.
New renewable projects are projected to benefit not only the companies in the sector, but also consumers and the environment. Talk about a win-win-win. About 30% of Sarens’ company resources are allocated to projects on wind work globally, a number it expects to grow over the next 5 years thanks to US offshore projects.
With state-of-the-art equipment, value engineering, one of the world’s largest inventories of cranes, transporters, and specialty rigging equipment, Sarens offers creative and intelligent solutions to today’s heavy lifting and engineered transport challenges. Sarens currently employs 4,543 highly skilled professionals who are prepared to support any client’s requirements around the globe and across every market sector.