Last year’s AWEA Offshore Wind Power Conference was a gathering place for experts to share ideas, big plans and visions for the future, recalls Principal Alan Shimada. Mixed in was a cautious anticipation that offshore wind in the US might finally be taking off.
Today, in just one year’s time, the industry is exploding from 30 megawatts (MW) to more than 2,500 MW in the next few years and an expected 14 gigawatts (GW) in the next 10 years. At this year’s conference, held in Washington, DC, from 16–18 October, the US Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced several new lease opportunities off the coasts of Massachusetts and California in the coming months and years. With more than 30 years of experience and expertise in design engineering and supply chain management, Ramboll is poised to seize the tremendous growth and opportunity this burgeoning industry presents in the US.
Ramboll experts met with several developers and supply chain clients and highlighted the company’s fast-growing number of projects in states up and down the East Coast, including a partnership with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJ BPU) to develop the state's Offshore Wind Strategic Plan.
“The world is now paying attention to the US in a new and big way,” says Principal Consultant Richard Baldwin. “People are becoming aware that Ramboll has local experts with global experience.”
The rising position of the US in the industry could have a major impact on manufacturing, Baldwin adds. “If you have enough projects coming into a geography, it makes sense for a major manufacturer of foundations or blades to consider building a manufacturing facility here in the US, instead of having the components travel all the way from Europe, which is difficult and expensive."
Another major niche Ramboll experts highlighted this year is the company’s supply chain expertise, which supports wind energy clients in the design, operation and optimization of industrial supply chains for manufacturing and installation.
“Our supply chain management helps clients make the best choice, at the lowest price, with the least environmental impact,” Shimada says. “For a developing industry, supply chain development is one of the earliest and most critical pieces.”
Other topics Ramboll experts covered at the event through presentations included: