State’s First Wind Turbine Arrives at Avondale Global Gateway

AVONDALE, La. – In April, a wind turbine and its components arrived at Avondale Global Gateway (AGG) after a transatlantic journey from Ireland.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey’s Wind Turbine Database, this is the first turbine to be installed in Louisiana.

Gulf Wind Technology, headquartered at AGG, said it is preparing the onshore turbine for installation at the Port Fourchon Coastal Wetlands Park. Initial deployment and testing of the equipment is slated to begin late this year.   

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“This first turbine will demonstrate all the necessary elements for deploying wind energy projects in the Gulf, marking a crucial step toward realizing the full technical and economic potential for offshore wind,” said James Martin, GWT CEO, in a press release. “It’s essentially a prototype to provide us research-oriented results that we can build upon and demonstrate the potential supply chain available in Louisiana, starting with Avondale Global Gateway and finishing at deployment near Port Fourchon.” 

Louisiana-based shipping company Host, which owns AGG, coordinated the turbine’s delivery from Europe. 

“The arrival of this wind turbine underscores Avondale Global Gateway’s commitment to innovation,” said Host Chairman and CEO Adam Anderson. “Avondale is a prime location for companies like Gulf Wind Technology, and we are proud that they call Avondale Global Gateway home. Together, we will continue to increase economic stability and energy development in Jefferson Parish, Southeast Louisiana, and beyond.” 

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A Host spokesperson said the transport of this turbine “tested Louisiana’s pre-built infrastructure that could easily become part of the offshore wind supply chain.” According to a recent report from the Pew Charitable Trusts, more than 450 local companies are ready to support offshore wind in the Gulf of Mexico.

Host used the turbine’s arrival as an opportunity to tout its ability to import large offshore wind components as well as provide storage, sub-assembly, on-site manufacturing and fabrication at AGG.

“Thanks to our extensive global network, we were able to support Gulf Wind Technology’s transport of this turbine as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible,” said Amanda England, vice president and general manager of Avondale Terminal Services, a subsidiary of Host. “Not only do we have the vast acreage to support storing equipment of this size, but we provide the logistical solutions and  expertise to ensure it arrives at Avondale on time and in proper condition.” 

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Gulf Wind Technology established a rotor technology innovation center at AGG in 2023 to develop wind turbine rotors designed to harness the Gulf of Mexico’s wind energy. This involves developing and demonstrating new approaches tailored to the region’s unique conditions, which include seasonal hurricanes and moderate average wind speeds. Shell New Energies US invested $10 million in the Shell Gulf Wind Technology Accelerator, which also also houses an offshore wind workforce and training program. 

Founded in 1923, Host specializes in agency services, terminal operations, stevedoring and marine assets. In 2018, the company acquired the former Avondale Shipyard. In 2022, it reopened the site as Avondale Global Gateway. In 2023, Host relocated its headquarters from Virginia to Avondale.

Click here to learn more about Louisiana’s first wind turbine.

Corrections: This story was updated to reflect that the offshore wind report was created by the Pew Charitable Trusts, not the Pew Research Center.

And the word “massive” was removed to describe the turbine. As turbines go, it actually is a smaller onshore test device that will demonstrate the necessary elements for deploying wind energy projects in the Gulf. 

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