US-based owner Crowley has invested in Tugdock, developers of a road-transportable floating dry dock, to explore the potential use of the so-called Tugdock Submersible Platforms (TSPs) in the US west coast offshore wind sector.
Tugdock’s TSPs were developed to be launched in ports that lack the sufficient water depth and assembly space required to build and loadout the massive floating substructures required to support offshore wind turbines. The technology allows floating dry docks to be delivered by road in modular form and assembled at the port to dimensions far wider than most of the world’s existing dry docks. Once loaded, the platform is then towed to deeper water for launching and transporting the turbines.
“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 at Crowley Wind Services.
The US government announced a goal to deploy 15 GW of installed floating offshore wind capacity off the coast by 2035, with a target to reduce the cost of floating offshore wind energy by more than 70%, to $45 per megawatt-hour by that time.
“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.”
Crowley Wind Services is developing and planning wind terminals in California, Louisiana and Massachusetts. At the California Port of Humboldt Bay, Crowley is progressing on an agreement to build and operate a terminal for manufacturing, installation and operation of offshore wind floating platforms, use of large heavy cargo vessels and provide crewing and marshalling services for the Pacific waters recently approved for leases for wind energy. Humboldt and other West Coast installations will rely upon floating offshore wind turbines.