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Crowley Investment to Advance Floating Offshore Wind Energy Capacity in U.S.

Illustration courtesy Crowley/Tugdock

Crowley Investment to Advance Floating Offshore Wind Energy Capacity in U.S.

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 2041
June 1, 2023

US-based maritime specialist Crowley has announced a new investment in Tugdock, the developers of the innovative Tugdock Submersible Platform (TSP). The TSP is touted as the world’s first road-transportable floating dry dock, designed to advance offshore wind energy capacity in the United States.

The partnership between Crowley and Tugdock will focus on exploring the potential use of the TSP in locations where conventional dry docks and water depths may pose logistical challenges, particularly on the U.S. West Coast where Crowley is developing an offshore wind terminal to support wind energy generation in the Pacific waters.

“This important investment and collaboration with Tugdock strategically complement our vision and market-leading logistics capabilities to support wind energy development from beginning to end,” said Bob Karl, senior vice president and general manager, Crowley Wind Services. “Not only will we help installation developers solve logistics challenges, as a leader in sustainable and innovative maritime logistics Crowley will further the use of offshore wind as a leading alternative energy source by working together with our customers, suppliers, policymakers and others across our value chain for innovations like the Tugdock Submersible Platform.”

Last year, the Biden Administration set a target to deploy 15 gigawatts of floating offshore wind capacity off the coast by 2035, enough clean energy to power over 5 million American homes. To achieve this target, the Biden Administration is working to reduce the cost of floating offshore wind energy by more than 70 percent, to $45 per megawatt-hour by 2035.

Crowley Wind Services is actively developing wind terminals in California, Louisiana, and Massachusetts. One of their ongoing projects is the construction and operation of a terminal for manufacturing, installation, and operation of offshore wind floating platforms at the California Port of Humboldt Bay, which will enable the utilization of large heavy cargo vessels, provide crewing and marshalling services, and support the leasing of wind energy in the Pacific waters.

“We are delighted to form a new partnership with Crowley, a visionary company at the forefront of marine innovation,” said Shane Carr, CEO of Tugdock, which is based in Cornwall, UK.“Their strategic investment will enable us to take our unique technology to the U.S. floating offshore wind market for the first time. We believe that our new partnership will help accelerate the growth of floating offshore wind in the U.S.”

Tugdock showcased its award-winning TSP technology at Crowley’s Innovation Expo in Jacksonville, Florida. The patented TSP offers a cost-effective solution for developers and ports in the floating offshore wind industry. The TSP can be launched in ports with insufficient water depth and assembly space for the construction and loading of massive floating substructures required to support offshore wind turbines. The modular TSP can be transported by road and assembled at the port, allowing for wider dimensions than most existing dry docks. Once loaded, the platform is towed to deeper water for launching and transporting the turbines.

“The cost and time constraints associated with port infrastructure developments and submersible barge suitability are major bottlenecks holding back growth of the floating offshore wind sector,” said Lucas Lowe-Houghton, director of strategy and growth at Tugdock “Our TSP technology helps overcome these issues, providing a ready-to-go solution that does not require planning or environmental permissions. This is a massive benefit as planning permission for a permanent facility could significantly delay project schedules and not provide a return on investment. Tugdock provides a purpose-built permanent or temporary pre-assembly solution for construction and loadout, wind turbine generator integrations and major repair campaigns.”

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