The partnership, known as Weeks/Manson, a joint venture (WMJV), will install the project's 3.6MW Siemens turbines with a fleet of vessels that includes the RD MacDonald, the first special purpose offshore wind installation vessel built in the United States.
The project is currently in the financing phase. "Our schedule is to complete financing before the end of this year and to start construction early next year with the foundations," said spokesman Mark Rodgers.
Weeks Marine began plans to build the 260-foot RD MacDonald in January 2011 and launched in its hull in Jacksonville, Florida in 2012. Its crane, to be installed in Louisiana next year, will have a 280-foot boom that allows it to reach over 350 feet into the air when jacked-up offshore. The barge will be able to transport three wind turbines at one time.
Rick Palmer, a Weeks Marine vice-president and WMJV project director, called the vessel an early link in the US offshore supply chain. He added the company has been pursuing the offshore market for 10 years.
"Weeks Marine was committed to the emergence of the US offshore wind industry and confident enough to make the significant investment required to build an installation vessel," Palmer said.