In a huge hangar in Quonset Point, Rhode Island, welders are aiming blazing torches at sheets of aluminium. The hulls of three new ships, each about 27-metres long, are taking shape. The first will hit the water sometime in the spring, ferrying workers to service wind turbines off the New England coast.
The US barely has an offshore wind sector for these vessels to service. But as the Biden administration accelerates a plan to decarbonise its power generation sector, turbines will sprout along its coastline, creating demand for services in shipyards and manufacturing hubs from Brownsville, Texas, to Albany, New York.