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Vineyard Wind blowing bubbles

4C Offshore | Chloe Emanuel
By: Chloe Emanuel 12/05/2023 Vineyard Wind

Vineyard Wind, a joint venture between Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) and AVANGRID, Inc., has announced a partnership with ThayerMahan, a specialist in seabed surveys and maritime services.

The collaboration aims to deploy and test a secondary bubble curtain during foundation installation, with a focus on acoustic mitigation in the offshore wind industry. Vineyard Wind's Industry Accelerator Fund, administered by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), will provide $5 million in funding for the pilot program.

As part of this agreement, ThayerMahan will establish its headquarters for the bubble curtain acoustic mitigation product line in New Bedford, sharing space at the Foss Marine Terminal. The relocation of ThayerMahan to New Bedford will aim to create job opportunities, ranging from deckhands to data scientists, with a commitment to local hiring. The company has initiated a training and internship program in partnership with UMass Dartmouth, and plans to conduct assembly and manufacturing operations for future projects in New Bedford.

This partnership positions ThayerMahan as the first American company to offer bubble curtain services to the US Offshore Wind industry.

Vineyard Wind CEO Klaus S. Moeller emphasized the significance of this agreement, stating: "Our collaboration with ThayerMahan ensures that a US-based company will, for the first time, provide a bubble curtain mitigation system for an offshore wind project. This is a crucial step in giving US firms hands-on experience in this new industry, paving the way for rapid expansion, particularly in our hometown of New Bedford."

AVANGRID CEO Pedro Azagra added: "The deployment of this bubble curtain by ThayerMahan represents a milestone in the construction of this nation-leading project and showcases offshore wind's potential to create local jobs and economic impact. We are proud to enter into this agreement with a local maritime services firm that will help us ensure the successful and environmentally responsible installation of the project, thus launching the offshore wind industry in the United States."

A bubble curtain comprises large, perforated hoses and specialized air compressors designed to absorb and dampen sound during foundation installation. The hoses are placed on the seafloor around the monopile and filled with compressed air. As the air escapes through the perforations, a barrier of bubbles is created, reducing noise levels.
The operations will be conducted using the Northstar Navigator vessel, which will operate out of the Port of New Bedford.

The Vineyard Wind project, an 800 MW installation located 15 miles off the coast of Martha's Vineyard, will provide electricity to over 400,000 homes and businesses in Massachusetts.

For more information on offshore wind farms worldwide, click here.


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