The International Partnering Forum (IPF) exhibition hosted by the Business Network for Offshore Wind took place in Atlantic City on 26-28 April. The event connects global leaders and businesses in the supply chain, offers unparalleled networking opportunities, and delivers breaking technology and policy updates from the industry.
This year’s event was attended by over 3,000 energy industry professionals and featured over 300 exhibitors, including Acteon. These numbers are a significant increase on previous IPF events and gives an indication of the scale of activity and energy around US offshore wind farm developments.
THE DRIVE TO BRING AMERICAN LOCAL CONTENT TO THE SUPPLY CHAIN
The US offshore wind industry has a focus on bringing local content into the offshore wind supply chain which was a key theme running through discussions at IPF. US authorities aim to use the growth in offshore wind to provide long-term job opportunities in proximity of the wind farm developments, particularly on the East Coast.
The global demand for energy and infrastructure services for offshore wind developments means that it is in the best interest of the US authorities to grow the local supply chain to ensure that services are readily available to meet the deadlines of each project phase.
The international supply chain has the challenge of navigating the nuances of the US market, for example complying with local laws and legislation including the Jones Act; considering restrictions relating to The United States Fish Commission, and of course, construction noise management and limitations. More clarity on how the local legislation and other specific factors interact with offshore wind will emerge as projects develop during this exciting time for the industry.
COST REDUCTION, EFFECTIVE PLANNING, AND SCHEDULING
The workshops and panels were organised into tracks, with topics ranging from research and development to workforce development. IPF offered all attendees the latest industry research, insights, and trends in offshore wind.
Key themes discussed around project installation and execution included cost reduction and lifetime extension for marine foundations. Solutions can include reducing project footprints and carbon emissions by optimising the use of deck space, offshore personnel and equipment. Focusing on logistics to avoid double handling maximising vessel utilisation, resulting in increased efficiency and decreased costs.
Based on the discussion around effective planning and scheduling techniques for offshore wind projects, finding a strategic partner to deliver services throughout the whole project lifecycle creates synergies and facilitates safe, timely and cost-effective delivery across all the phases of a development.
FOCUS ON NOISE MITIGATION
Fabian Hippe, Acteon’s Marine Foundations expert, presented a poster detailing primary noise mitigation methods for offshore pile driving with a special focus on MENCK’s Noise Reduction Unit (MNRU). Underwater noise mitigation solutions are required to help reduce the impact of construction noise on marine life. Acteon has designed ‘primary’ noise mitigation systems which are integrated into the piling hammer and change the force character of the hammer to reduce the noise before it is transferred into the water.
The IPF exhibition demonstrated not only the rapidly growing activity for offshore wind in the US but also the preparedness of the offshore marine and infrastructure supply chain. Acteon is one of the key players, being able to deliver services throughout the whole life cycle of a fixed or floating wind project, from site characterisation to engineering support, foundations and installation and asset integrity management. Through early engagement and a unique point of contact, we can significantly reduce the total cost of construction and installation of subsea infrastructure, safely and responsibly, thereby reducing the levellised cost of energy (LCoE). Our technologies and innovative methods help organisations across the world to reduce their carbon emissions and meet ambitious climate goals.
Acteon representatives are looking forward to IPF 2023 in Baltimore.