Offshore Wind Farms


The difference in size and capacity of onshore wind mills vs. offshore is immense. To install similar size windmills in Colorado, or the corn fields would be VERY costly, or near impossible.
They still would not produce the same as on an offshore location, though. Just look at my last post and you’ll get an idea of what is MAYBE coming off California and Hawaii.

You are right, to get into the offshore wind farm business now would be a smart move for any mariner, since it will come to the US, regardless of political resistance, as long as it makes economical sense.


There’s no political resistance to this here from either side. It’s financially driven. States like California may subsidize the offshore wind farm push, but that’s about as political as it would get (but it’s going to meet some resistance there on the Left Coast - probably because there are so many huge wind farms in California’s central valley and there may be some people who think that a wind farm offshore of California would pose some environmental risks i.e. migration patterns of marine mamels/etc - I KNOW IT DOESN"T MAKE ANY SENSE - but it is California. They are already grumbling about it)


Migrating mammals?? That’s a new one.
In other parts they are worried about birds flying into the rotating windmill blades, although they are rotating so slowly that it would be hard to believe any birds would be unable to avoid them.
But I take your point about Californians. They are not alone.


Yeah they are a funny bunch of people out there. They are perfectly cool with birds flying in to the massive wind farms in the Central Valley - because they don’t have to see it. Put them offshore (and they would have to be close in) to where their views are messed up? They’ll find a point of contention. They are a little more practical in the MidWest - nothing but soy and corn and wheat fields out there, no one cares what it looks like (although, when you drive up on those wind farms at night, it’s a little surreal - red blinking lights as far as the eye can see for MILES).

I hear that both in the GoM and also the West Coast they are installing tide turbines. That’s more up their ally (again, what they can’t see, they are cool with).


Also, now we are contending with this: It’s really rather hilarious - especially in a state like California. We get a lot more from Solar power out here.


Birds die from flying into overhead power lines on a regular basis, but nobody want to spend the money to dig down cables to save their life.


The birds flying in to the wind turbines are more of point of argument for any anti-alternative energy people. No one really takes it seriously.


Yes and no. I’ve experienced having marine mammal observers on several drilling vessels going back quite some time. Without bringing up pros and cons of them being out there, it’s a fact of life right now that in certain circumstances there will be a concern about marine mammals and how different maritime activities affect them (I’m thinking mostly hydro-acoustic/seismic survey activities although I’m sure there are other activities as well).

So my guess would be that any new type of activity will have at least some segment of the population concerned about the marine mammal impact and we should expect scrutiny. Regardless if we believe in the merits or lack of merits of such scrutiny, don’t expect the scrutiny to just go away.

I was training a soon to be Senior DPO a while back, and he mentioned, “I don’t like people looking over my shoulder, it makes me nervous.” My response as I thought of the microphone to the VDR near me, “like it or not, whatever your position, you’re going to have people looking over your shoulder for the rest of your career out here.”

It’s not good, it’s not bad, it just ‘is’.


Flying into brightly lit (but non-moving) buildings at night, particularly those situated along the primary flyways, takes a big toll on migratory birds. Collisions with cars, towers and other structures are significant, along with permanent habitat loss. But outdoor domestic and feral cats (in the USA) are #1.

On CG fishery patrols in Alaska we sometimes found the decks littered with dozens of dead birds that had flown into the bulkheads at night. How many died from hitting the hull, and thus going uncounted, is anyone’s guess.

The various forms of alternative energy are probably far less destructive in the aggregate than what we’ve been doing for a long time, but they’re not benign by any means and still require a fossil fuel base to support virtually every step of their manufacture, deployment and maintenance. Their respective proponents still have to make the case for where and how they site them, as well as their economic viability. Or not. Expecting full honesty and transparency regarding the costs and benefits of anything, from the industry that will profit from but inevitably try to socialize as much of the costs as possible, is naive at best. It’s just the way it is.

Uptown Sinclair’s rule applies: It’s hard to get a man to understand something when his livelihood depends upon him not understanding it.

In the current political climate the easiest solution is probably for Congress to simply defund and/or abolish the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Shooting the messenger has been a go-to response for the ages. Why change now?

Having said all that, given our insatiable appetite for energy, along with our inability to exercise real restraint, failing to carefully responsibly develop the various alternatives is major dereliction of duty on the part of government at every level. This endless expenditure of blood and treasure overseas is just bankrupting us.


Sorry, I did not mean that migrating mammals were a novelty, but that offshore windmills should be a problem for them, whether fixed to the bottom or floating and moored.

Off California I would think the sea lions may find some interesting places to rest and sun themselves.
The migrating Humpback whales will probably know how to steer clear of such obstacles, (Don’t know about the WAFIs though)


Well said! I earlier posted an article from the LA Times that California is generating, actully, TOO much solar energy and are PAYING Arizona and other states to take it. While Californians still pay up to 50% more for electricity then other states. We have the capability of being entirely energy independent RIGHT NOW in this country - but I’m not necessarily for socializing our energy sources - I believe that it will eventually sort itself out privately. But we’ll see.

As for migration patters of birds and etc. - it’s an interesting topic - what were the migratory patters of those birds before vast fields were planted with corn/wheat/etc? And now what are they like since the wind turbines have gone up? It’s a heck of a bird deterrent! We would have clouds of hummingbirds flying around the ship when we were 150 miles offshore (and sparrows and Mexican canaries and all kinds of others) blown out to sea via storms. The ships actually mess with their homing/direction systems as they migrated and they would spend days flying around the ship, until dehydration or the falcons (that we always seemed to have hanging out in the derrick on every ship I’ve ever been on) got them. Point is, as per usual, it’s a much bigger, more complicated situation then just, “Wind Turbines are bad for birds”.


For those who still think that Offshore Wind Farms will not bring work for mariners, have a look at this article from Sysla today:


And for those who thinks it will never happen in USA, look at what Shell is doing:
They have a global view, but USA is still part of that view.


China and N Europe investing hugely, as size and mass production have evolved costs have fallen

Have a look here for a global offshore wind database.


Not sure if this has been addressed but vessels working as wind farm support are considered sub chapter L as far as the Coast Guard is concerned, Offshore Supply Vessels.


The first of 5 floating wind turbines assembled at Stord in Norway are now underway to Scotland, where they will be moored and connected to the grid by 1.Oct. 2017:


Here is a drone video showing the first 5 floating wind mills installed at Hywind Wind Farm off Scotland:
Not turning yet, but should be producing already in Oct. 2017.


Offshore Wind Farm construction, installation, maintenance, servicing and repairs are becoming a major market for the Marine industry in Europe. More and more vessels and mariners are engaged in the business.

Building specialized vessels for the wind farm industry is helping shipyards, machinery and equipment manufacturers to stay afloat during the lean time in the Oil & Gas industry.
Here is but one example:,-efficient-vessel-design-for-smaller-windfarms


With Offshore Wind power becoming a major industry it attracts the attention of thousands:


If you first build an Offshore Wind farm. why not combine it with an Offshore Wave Energy Converter for more bang for your dollars??:

The company has signed it’s first contract: