As a national leader in clean energy policy, New York is a prime hub in bringing offshore wind energy to the United States. Setting a new standard to expedite the transition to a clean energy economy, the historic Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) requires New York to achieve a 100% carbon free electricity system by 2040 and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 85% below 1990 levels by 2050. The law mandates that at least 70% of New York’s electricity come from renewable energy sources by 2030. As such, the State has begun development of 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind energy, enough to power up to 6 million homes.
From initial marine cable route surveys to support in the development of tower base fabrication, component staging, and operations & maintenance (O&M) facilities, McLaren Engineering Group’s marine and survey teams have been working throughout the Northeast on various offshore wind projects, bringing this renewable green energy source to reality.
A central component of every offshore wind endeavor involves the development of a strategic operations and maintenance facility to sit as the regional hub of activity. Operations and maintenance accounts for over one quarter of an offshore wind farm’s overall cost. O&M facilities are prime port infrastructure developments that serve as a nucleus of operations containing service vessels, warehouse facilities, and office space.
For one of New York’s largest offshore wind developments, McLaren’s Marine Engineering division investigated several potential Operations and Maintenance sites in the New York and New Jersey area. Each proposed port location was assessed in respect to navigational accessibility, environmental constraints, and existing infrastructure. Conditions of the existing waterfront infrastructure were closely inspected and evaluated for operational needs, flexibility, and life-cycle costs. Of prime consideration was the feasibility of berthing and operational support for the necessary crew transfer vessels, surface effect ships, and service operation vessels.
Following the initial studies, McLaren provided schematic design alternatives for the prospective port facility layouts that included configurations of dredging, bulkheads, platforms, riprap, pontoons, gangways, cranes, and fendering. Using facility construction and lifecycle costs, operational flexibility, resiliency, and sustainability metrics, our team worked with the client to select a favored option.
The chosen Long Island location for the project’s Operations and Maintenance facility was then advanced to concept design and Environmental Permit application submission. Currently, the existing port infrastructure is being renovated to include custom office and warehouse space to handle marine coordination, contract and site management, as well as spare parts storage, and training. The site will include dockage for the required OSW support vessels and is strategically positioned to accommodate future planned wind lease areas.