Vineyard Wind on Innovation Opportunities in the Offshore Wind Market

Who better to give an overview of the offshore wind market, its needs, and its opportunities than the company that’s developing the United States’ first utility-scale offshore wind project?

Four experts from Vineyard Wind, a Greentown Labs partner and co-facilitator of the Offshore Wind Challenge, shared their insights in a webinar this May. Read on for a look at what innovations the industry needs and how startups can get involved.

Bird’s-eye view of the market

“On the east coast, and in particular the northeastern U.S., the ideal traits for offshore wind are exemplified,” said Jordan Shoesmith, senior bid development manager at Vineyard Wind. “It’s referred to as the ‘Saudi Arabia of offshore wind.’”

“What does that mean in terms of resource potential?” Shoesmith continued. “According to a study by NREL, the technical resource potential of offshore wind along the east coast alone is around 1,260 GW of generation capacity. To put that in perspective, that could power the entire United States.”

The industry is just taking shape, and active commercial wind energy leases only cover a fraction of usable areas. Vineyard Wind aims to help us realize this enormous potential of offshore wind with its utility-scale project.


As with many nascent industries, there are technical hurdles complicating offshore wind developers’ ability to achieve efficient, safe operations. The equipment must be able to withstand harsh sea conditions, and weather can significantly impact installation schedules. Developers also need to work around the movements and needs of marine life, which requires detection, data, monitoring, and real-time decisions. Offshore connectivity and human safety are also areas of concern. Combined, these challenges make current operations time- and cost-intensive.

Innovation needs

The offshore wind industry needs startup ingenuity to tackle these installation and operational challenges. That’s why Vineyard Wind has partnered with Greentown Labs to run the Offshore Wind Challenge, a Greentown Launch program that will help Vineyard Wind responsibly develop its utility-scale project. 

The Offshore Wind Challenge focuses on advances in marine mammal monitoring, specifically for data collection and real-time transmission or data analysis. Greentown Launch programs are designed to accelerate meaningful partnerships between startups and corporates. During months of workshops and frequent touch points between Vineyard Wind and the selected startups, program participants will receive extensive mentoring, business training, and access to resources to advance their technological and commercial development, working toward mutually agreed upon goals in cooperation with Vineyard Wind.

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center is supporting the challenge as an enabling partner, providing grant funding and in-kind support for startup pilot projects in Vineyard Wind’s lease areas.

Want to learn more? Find additional information here and apply by June 15! 

Greentown Labs is a community of climatetech and cleantech pioneers working to design a more sustainable world. As the largest climatetech startup incubator in North America, Greentown Labs brings together startups, corporates, investors, politicians, and many others with a focus on scaling climate solutions. Driven by the mission of providing ground-breaking startups the resources, knowledge, connections, and equipment they need to thrive, Greentown Labs offers prototyping and wet lab space, shared office space, a machine shop, an electronics lab, software and business resources, a large network of corporate customers and investors, and more. Greentown Labs’ 100,000-square-foot campus in Somerville, MA is home to more than 100 startups and has supported more than 250 startups since the incubator’s founding in 2011. These startups have collectively created more than 6,500 direct jobs and have raised more than $750 million in funding. For more information, please visit or Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.