Offshore Wind: Close to Construction?

    August 2019

    In a piece for Maritime Logistics Professional that reported on a number of offshore wind energy projects in the developmental pipeline (see pp. 38-42), partner Emily Huggins Jones discussed some of the construction challenges due to the Jones Act. Emily, who participated in a panel discussion WindPower Monthly in Amsterdam aimed at European firms interested in the emerging US offshore wind market, advised, “don’t expect a Jones Act waiver.” Emily predicted that an initial commercial scale project will follow the protocol used for Block Island: the requisite, foreign equipment will be moved to a work site, but not to a US port. However, it will be supplied by Jones Act compliant vessels and barges. She said this deliberate distancing can work to get this new industry started. Citing not only high costs as a challenge, she explained a bigger concern is whether there will be enough offshore wind work to justify the sizeable investments that would be required to establish a Jones Act fleet dedicated to the US offshore wind market.