San Diego shipbuilder General Dynamics-NASSCO is looking to become a big player in the offshore wind energy industry.
The Union Tribune says NASSCO is bidding on contracts to build installation and support vessels for offshore wind farms, along with Spanish shipbuilder Navantia, that will be needed to create offshore wind turbine farms off the U.S. coastline.
NASSCO, the only major shipbuilder on the West Coast, will heavily focus on California, where five companies were recently given approval to lease more than 373,000 acres off the state’s northern and central coasts to create wind farms.
Their proposed floating turbines are expected to generate roughly 4.6 gigawatts of energy, enough to power more than 1.5 million homes, according to the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.
NASSCO envisions building installation and support ships that are about 525 feet long, which is well within the range of the vessels that the company has been building in Barrio Logan for decades.
The company’s primary customer is the Navy. NASSCO is currently building Lewis-class Navy fuel ships that are 746 feet long and Expeditionary Sea Base vessels, which are mobile floating piers that extend 785 feet. The shipyard also repairs and modernizes warships, including amphibious assault ships, which are 855 feet long. Over the years, it also has built scores of large fuel tankers and dry cargo ships, some of which have exceeded 900 feet in length.