The Business Network for Offshore Wind, the leading non-profit working to accelerate offshore wind development and build a dedicated manufacturing supply chain in the United States, welcomed U.S. Congressman Bobby Scott, Maritime Administrator Rear Admiral Ann Phillips (United States Navy, Retired), and more than 350 business leaders and maritime industry experts to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the nation’s port and vessel infrastructure at the OSW Port & Vessel Summit in Norfolk, Virginia.
“Ports and vessels are the foundation of America’s offshore wind industry,” said Liz Burdock, President and CEO of the Business Network for Offshore Wind. “As the pipeline of offshore wind projects continues to grow up and down our coasts, it is critical that we work together to address challenges like upgrading our existing ports, tackling the shortage of specially designed transport vessels, and leveraging new investments from the Inflation Reduction Act. The 2022 Offshore Wind Port & Vessel Summit convened key maritime industry leaders, state and federal officials, private sector companies, worker representatives, and utilities to discuss and showcase the tremendous port and vessel business opportunities that are rapidly unfolding across the industry.”
“Virginia’s workforce, infrastructure, and geography make it well positioned for offshore wind,” said Congressman Bobby Scott. “In building offshore wind generation and an offshore wind supply chain, it is essential that we do it right: ensuring that we cut emissions while creating good-paying jobs, and also ensure that communities benefit from these investments. The Inflation Reduction Act goes a long way in ensuring that American workers will not only manufacture the components and build the turbines, but also will make enough to sustain their families.”
Speakers focused on a wide range of issues that will be critical to resolve over the next decade as more turbines are installed in East Coast waters, from financing port infrastructure improvements and autonomous vessel technology, to ensuring the availability and capacity of vessels, scaling the nation’s shipyards, and achieving a net-zero supply chain. Businesses also received critical information about how to best position themselves to take advantage of the recently-passed Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which has numerous provisions that benefit the offshore wind industry, including the vessel manufacturing credit.
“Recently, I was able to designate vessels that service offshore wind farm facilities as vessels of national interest—the first vessels so designated under this authority. This reflects the Administration’s commitment to supporting these vessels and construction of them to service offshore wind terminals,” said Maritime Administrator Rear Admiral Ann Phillips (United States Navy, Retired). “Within MARAD and the Department of Transportation, we will do whatever we can to support this effort, working closely with partners through government and industry and ensuring that we have the vessels, the capacity, and the mariners to build this new industry.”