Cape Wind touts local contracts

The developer behind Cape Wind has unveiled a fresh list of US-based companies working on the project, as it looks to shore up the perception it is leading to the creation of American jobs.

Cape Wind named five companies involved in the final season of geophysical surveys before the project enters construction in Nantucket Sound, off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Several of the companies – including Connecticut-based Ocean Surveys and Massachusetts-based Fathom Research – have worked at Cape Wind previously.

Ocean Surveys continues to operate as lead survey contractor, Cape Wind says.

ESS Group is acting as lead environmental and permitting consultant, and is assisting Cape Wind in managing the ongoing geophysical survey.

Three others are based in New Bedford, Massachusetts, an old whaling port, where the state is building a $100m terminal which will act as a staging area for Cape Wind and, it hopes, future offshore wind projects.

Fathom Research is providing diver-assisted sub-bottom imaging services; A.I.S. Inc. is providing Protected Species Observers as the survey work is carried out; and Hercules SLR is providing maritime safety training to Cape Wind’s management team.

The update is “confirmation that existing New Bedford businesses are going to have opportunities to play key roles in the offshore wind industry as projects like Cape Wind accelerate in the months and years ahead”, says Jon Mitchell, the city's mayor.

With many big-ticket items for Cape Wind and other mid-term US offshore wind projects likely to come from overseas, US states are racing to bed their industries in to secure as many jobs as possible.

Massachusetts’ “first-mover status” means it will become the “premier hub of US offshore wind development”, says Alicia Barton, chief executive of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, which is building New Bedford’s offshore wind port.

Cape Wind will see 130 Siemens 3.6MW turbines put in place, and is expected to be completed by late 2016.