Photo courtesy Bluetech Industries

Bleutec Advances Plans for Jones Act-Compliant Offshore Wind Turbine Installation Concept

Mike Schuler
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December 1, 2022

Texas-based Bleutec Industries has taken its latest step to advance its development of a Jones Act-compliant alternative to more expensive wind turbine installation vessels for the construction of U.S. offshore wind farms.

Taking place at the International Workboat Show in New Orleans, Bleutec signed a Memorandum of Understanding with technology group Wärtsilä to be the system integrator for Bleutec’s innovative Binary Marine Installation Solution (BMIS).

Bleutec describes the BMIS as a cost-effective alternative to the heavy-lift jack-up Wind Turbine Installation Vessels currently being employed by the offshore wind sector for foundation and turbine installation. The platform will be built around a Piling Installation Vessel (PIV), a Wind Turbine Installation Vessel Light (WTIVL), and Service Operation Vessels (SOV). Combined, the vessels will be able to install wind turbines of up to 22 megawatts (MW) on their foundations and the SOVs will provide the necessary accommodation and crew support services.

“Wärtsilä has taken an active role in this project, and their technical expertise and broad experience are very important to the success of the concept. In particular, we appreciate their industry-leading efforts in developing sustainable technologies that will largely define the industry’s future,” says Robin Bodtmann, CEO of Bleutec.

The PIV will feature a 4,500-metric-ton gantry crane, a hydraulic hammer, and deck space for the piles. The WTIVL will install wind turbines of up to ~22 megawatts on the foundations and the SOVs will provide the necessary accommodation and crew support services.

All vessels will be designed to be powered by Wärtsilä dual-fuel engines paired with Wärtsilä’s hybrid Battery Energy Storage Systems and will incorporate the latest advances in Dynamic Positioning.

All vessels will comply with Jones Act, requiring vessels transporting merchandise between two points in the U.S. to be U.S. built, owned and operated.

With the U.S. offshore wind market set to expand rapidly in the coming decade, developers will be required to find vessels needed to build and eventually operate the growing number of offshore wind farms. One issue they will need to overcome is the lack of expensive Wind Turbine Installation Vessels, of which there is only one currently under construction for the U.S. market.

“We see the Bleutec BMIS as being a game-changer for the offshore wind industry, and we are excited to have been involved from its early stages. As the system integrator, we will continue to work closely with all the parties to bring the project to a successful conclusion,” says George Franssen, Account Manager New Builds Americas, Wärtsilä.

Bluetec expects is expected the BMIS platform to be available for operations starting the early part of 2026.

The agreement with Wärtsilä comes one day after Bluetech saidit has secured a significant capital commitment from EnCap Investments L.P.

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