The U.S. Energy Dept. announced on July 1 a conditional commitment for a $150-million loan guarantee to support construction of the 360-MW Cape Wind offshore wind project in Massachusetts.If built, the planned project would be the first commercial-scale offshore U.S. wind facility. It would use 130 offshore wind turbines, each 3.6 MW, to provide up to 75% of the power needed for Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard and would create about 400 construction jobs. Under the project's proposed financing structure, DOE would be part of a group of public and private lenders.
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.