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What is an Offshore Wind Suction Bucket Jacket?

What Are Offshore Wind Suction Bucket Jackets? Guice Offshore

What if some foundations for offshore wind turbines and offshore substations could be deployed in a more cost-effective, technically advantageous and environmentally friendly way, with significantly less underwater acoustic impact? 

Beacon Wind, with the approval of the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) on May 7, 2024, is currently testing a type of underwater foundation in offshore Massachusetts called a “suction bucket jacket” that’s also been used successfully in the German waters of Europe’s North Sea, as well as off the coast of Scotland.

Structurally different than suction anchors used for oil and gas applications since the early 1980s, the offshore wind versions of suction bucket jackets are lightweight and can be installed in a single operation, partially since they are designed to penetrate the sea floor up to a maximum of 39 feet, as opposed to their metocean monopile counterparts, which are typically pile-driven up to 100 feet. 

Consisting of three giant suction bucket legs joined together in a jacket structure, suction bucket jackets (SBJs) are installed by generating pressure displacement between the inside of the bucket and the seawater outside, enabling it to be installed with virtually no mechanical force.  Suction bucket jacket foundations are best used for areas of the sea floor that have softer soil and few or no unseen barriers such as boulders beneath the sand.

Using suction bucket jackets is ideal in water depths of less than 100 meters (328 feet).  According to Ørsted, which has been an industry leader in the development of suction bucket jacket technology for offshore wind, SBJs cannot always be installed in locations with large sand waves or high seabed mobility because of their shallow embedment and significantly larger sea floor footprint.

Vineyard Wind, the first offshore wind company to begin construction in U.S. federal waters, was also the first to use a “bubble curtain” for underwater acoustic mitigation during piledriving.  That technology was noted to reduce underwater noise harmful to marine life between 80 and 90 percent.

“Results of this testing activity may provide data that informs the significance of (suction bucket jacket) advantages, such as acoustic impact minimization for marine life, which will further the knowledge of this technology and has the potential to facilitate future implementation of the technology for the Beacon Wind Project and the offshore wind industry,” BOEM wrote in its final assessment.  


Guice Offshore Has the Jones Act-Qualified Vessels To Help Meet America’s Offshore Wind Industry Needs

Guice Offshore’s growing fleet of Jones Act-compliant, dynamically positioned offshore supply vessels, mini supply vessels and platform vessels is well positioned to help meet our nation’s wind energy infrastructure installation and service goal deadlines, whether it’s crew transfer, service, cable laying, subsea work like scour protection or equipment transportation.

Guice Offshore vessels are well-maintained, well-manned and feature ample accommodations and sought-after equipment such as A-frames, cranes, winches, moonpools, deck sockets and essentials to facilitate a spectrum of highly specialized offshore projects.

We hold strategic partnerships throughout the United States and maintain our highly capable vessels in accessible locations for quick response to myriad needs of the many specialty industries we serve, including Offshore Wind.

In fact, Guice Offshore provides our offshore wind clients with a unique method of “walk to work” crew transfer that is creating both safer conditions for workers and a more nimble and cost-effective way of doing it for offshore wind developers.  Traditional walk-to-work (W2W) gangways are typically substantial assemblies that require a larger vessel to carry and implement.  Guice Offshore has crafted an articulating one that operates with a motion compensating system and clamps to keep the walkway firm and steady against the sides of an offshore wind structure as it moves with the motion of the vessel.  

Headquartered in Covington, Louisiana with an operations base in Lafayette, Louisiana and a northeastern Rhode Island office, Guice Offshore operates a 16-vessel fleet of U.S. Flag offshore vessels that includes Subchapter L & I mini supply vessels, multi-purpose and platform vessels in the 150-ft, 170-ft, 205-ft and 294-ft. class with DP1 and DP2 certifications.

Guice Offshore operates from coast to coast in North America and select international locales.

Additionally, our subsidiary, GO Marine Services, a catering and offshore labor contractor, supports mission requirements that help minimize mobilization time and expense for Guice Offshore customers with special services like marine riggers, roustabouts and certified protected species observers in compliance with marine mammal regulatory requirements.

For charter inquiries, please contact David Scheyd at or (985) 273-2769.

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