French fiber optic cable manufacturing company Nexans has opened a new facility to manufacture high-voltage direct current subsea cables in Charleston, South Carolina.
The facility is claimed to be the first US-based subsea HVDC cable facility.
Nexans will use the plant to meet the growing demand for HVDC subsea cables as utilities in the US seek to connect an increasing capacity of renewable energy generated in offshore plants with mainland grid networks.
The launch follows Nexans signing a deal with utilities Eversource and Ørsted for the provision of subsea cables developed from the facility.
Nexans estimates that it will be able to deliver up to 1,000 km of cables for Ørsted’s and Eversource’s offshore wind farms in North America up until 2027.
Nexans will also provide Equinor with sub-sea cables to connect its Empire Wind 1 and 2 projects in the UK.
The facility will produce 525KV and 400KV HVDC and HVAC sub-sea cables. The first cables are expected to be delivered for wind energy farms in the UK by the beginning of 2022.
The French company says the facility will help expand its role in the energy transition and help both the UK and the US and other countries to achieve carbon-neutral goals.
Christopher Guérin, CEO of Nexans, said: “It’s an exciting time for the wind industry in the US as we unleash the potential that offshore renewable energy offers. Our purpose is to ‘electrify the future’ and our expanded facility allows us to do that by combining decades of experience in developing and manufacturing high voltage cables with the newly launched and the most technically advanced cable-laying vessel (CLV) Aurora. We are thrilled to contribute to the wind power revolution in the US and beyond.”
Nexans claims its vessel Aurora performs complex cable installation operations in all water depths, ranging from shallow to deep depths, a capability required to accelerate the deployment of offshore wind projects and to connect them with mainland grid networks.
The Biden administration set a goal of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030, a goal industry experts will be difficult to achieve given supply chain challenges and the immaturity of the U.S. offshore wind market.