When a country tries to create a new heavy industry like offshore wind energy where none currently exists, the requirements can seem overwhelming—utilities must commit to purchase the electricity, developers must win auctions to obtain offshore leased areas, turbine manufacturers have to have blades and other components ready to assemble, underwater cables have to be ordered two years in advance, the grid connections have to be planned and built, and special customized ships must be reserved to handle the construction of the foundations and towers in 100 feet of water or more.
Fortunately, northern Europe has been creating and connecting offshore wind turbines to their power grids since 1991, and they currently employ 75,000 people in one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. And in the U.S., we have states like New York, Massachusetts, Maryland and New Jersey all making commitments toward getting “steel in the water” as soon as possible.
Now those companies from Denmark, Norway, Germany the U.K. and other countries want to bring their expertise to the U.S. eastern coast and our Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) and help us create wind farms 3-10 miles or more off of our Atlantic coastline, from Maine to South Carolina.
The trick is that the Europeans can help fund and manage the process, but they need American companies to build the components, create the port facilities and develop the skilled workforce to grow a healthy and sustainable offshore wind energy industry over the next 20-30 years.
That’s where the Business Network for Offshore Wind—and our Supply Chain Portal—come in. Simply by logging on to offshorewindus.org, clicking on “Supply Chain Portal,” and following four simple steps (and answering 10 questions) your business will be entered into an international network of companies of all shapes and sizes. Once inside the portal, you can explore the wide range of resources provided by the Network, and make the connections that make sense for your business.
Best of all, it’s free, and it can help you establish relationships with offshore wind companies all over the world. So take 10 minutes and take your place in this exciting new industry that is changing the way we look at electricity forever, and offers almost unlimited potential for growth. And, if you’re ready to take your involvement in the offshore wind industry to the next level, consider signing up for the Network’s huge international 2018 IPF conference in Princeton this April 3-6.