LCI, a leading aviation company, has begun to deliver the first dedicated offshore wind helicopters in the United States of America. They will be leased under long-term arrangements to HeliService USA (HeliService USA) and support a new era of sustainable energy supply in the country.
The new helicopters will be operated by HeliService USA in support of Ørsted and General Electric contracts based in Quonset, RI, and Martha’s Vineyard, MA, and enable safe and efficient crew changes and wind turbine maintenance.
The state-of-the-art Leonardo AW169 helicopters, one of which will be a factory-built new helicopter, are valued at over US$20 million and are designed to perform a wide range of mission-critical operations. They are equipped with hoisting systems to airlift technicians to and from wind turbines and can operate across a variety of sea states.
Jaspal Jandu, CEO of LCI, says: “LCI is honoured to be enabling the USA’s first offshore wind helicopter operations, which are mission critical and socially responsible. Modern helicopters emit up to five times less CO2 per passenger compared with offshore crew transfer vessels, and they will underpin the growth of this exciting new energy future.
The White House has a commitment to a new clean energy industry with a goal of deploying 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind energy by 2030, and 110GW by 2050. Meeting the 2030 target will trigger more than US$12 billion per year in capital investment and create 77,000 direct and indirect jobs. It will also generate enough power to meet the demand of more than 10 million American homes for a year and avoid 78 million metric tonnes of CO2 emissions. (£1.00 = US$1.25 at time of publication)