Offshore oil and gas rig designer Friede & Goldman (F&G) is working with crane designer Tetrahedron to create a so-called ‘feeder’ solution that is aiming to cut the cost of building the first wave of sea-based wind construction projects in the US Atlantic by as much as half.


Gain valuable insight into the global oil and gas industry's energy transition from ACCELERATE, the free weekly newsletter from Upstream and Recharge. Sign up here today.

The NewWindShape concept aims to be a less expensive alternative to the high-price transport and installation units in service today by using a set-up combining one of F&G’s smaller-model jack-ups with a next-generation leg-encircling crane, supported by a number of standard ocean barges.

The company said the feeder concept — key to speeding up development of offshore wind projects offshore the US — would “make optimal use of the existing US logistic infrastructure, and with that, reduces required capex [capital expenditure] and spread costs by over 50%”.

NewWindShape would use close, stand-off and dynamically positioned feeder barges outfitted with a Tetrahedron crane able to lift modules for up to 20-megawatt turbines to heights of 200 metres above the water with a high-speed ‘smart hoist’ system.

The US market-gap for wind turbine installation vessels is in the cross-hairs of various contractors, including South Korea’s Keppel, which is starting construction of first all-American unit, Charybdis, and Eneti having announced plans for the flagship in a series of newbuilds.

(This article first appeared in Upstream's sister renewable energy publication Recharge on 21 May, 2021.)