NEW BEDFORD — A Texas company is building the nation’s first offshore wind-turbine installation vessel and designing it to fit through the New Bedford hurricane barrier.
The move could ease concerns about not having a U.S.-flagged vessel that can transport turbine components in compliance with federal law.
Under the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, commonly called the Jones Act, a ship built or registered outside the United States cannot transport cargo from one U.S. port to another. A wind farm is considered a port.
When Deepwater Wind built America’s first offshore wind farm off Block Island in 2015 and 2016, it used smaller U.S. vessels to transport turbine components out to the Norwegian-owned vessel Brave Tern, flagged out of Malta.