The first Jones Act-compliant wind turbine installation vessel (WTIV) has received its first charter for the construction of two offshore wind farms in the U.S. Northeast.
The chartering of the Dominion Energy vessel by Ørsted and Eversource was announced Tuesday. The vessel, named Charybdis, will be used to install Ørsted-Eversource’s Revolution Wind and Sunrise Wind, two of the nation’s first large-scale offshore wind farms subject to regulatory approval. The two projects are expected to generate more than 1.6 gigawatts of clean, renewable energy to nearly 1 million homes in Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York.
The charter’s terms will allow the Charybdis to also support construction of Dominion Energy’s 2.6 gigawatt Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) project off the coast of Virginia Beach, which is expected to be completed in 2026 subject to regulatory approvals.
The 472-foot Charybdis, with a price tag of approximately $500 million, is currently under construction in Brownsville, Texas at the Keppel AmFELS’s shipyard. Once complete, the vessel will be homeported in Hampton Roads, Virginia.
The vessel’s hull and infrastructure are being fabricated with more than 14,000 tons of domestic steel, nearly 10,000 tons of which will be sourced from Alabama, West Virginia and North Carolina suppliers. The vessel is designed to handle current turbine technologies as well as next generation turbine sizes of 12 megawatts or larger. It will also be capable of the installation of foundations for turbines.
For Revolution Wind and Sunrise Wind projects, the vessel will work from State Pier in New London, Connecticut, utilizing the pier for wind turbine transportation and installation and employing longshoremen, stevedores, technicians, crane operators, electricians, welders, quality inspectors, and other building and construction trades jobs.
“Offshore wind is critical to America’s clean-energy future and the Charybdis plays a vital role in reaching the Biden Administration’s ambitious goal of 30 gigawatts of offshore wind production by 2030,” said Bob Blue, Dominion Energy’s chair, president and chief executive officer. “We look forward to working with Ørsted and Eversource on the construction of Revolution Wind and Sunrise Wind to continue to grow the offshore wind industry in the U.S.”
Ørsted and Eversource are among the largest offshore wind developers in the Northeast. Ørsted currently operates the Block Island Wind Farm, the first offshore wind farm in the U.S., and also constructed the two-turbine Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind pilot project, which are the first turbines to be installed in federal waters. In total, Ørsted has secured approximately 3,000 megawatts of additional capacity through five projects in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.
Eversource supplies electricity, natural gas and water to approximately 4.3 million customers in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
“A Jones Act-qualified installation vessel is a game-changer for the development of the U.S. offshore wind industry,” said David Hardy, Chief Executive Officer of Ørsted Offshore North America. “This investment will enable us to unlock the economic benefits of offshore wind, not just for the Northeast, but for the Southern states as well. We’re proud to partner with Dominion Energy and Eversource on this historic milestone.”
Ørsted and Eversource have also committed nearly $100 million to a public-private partnership with the State of Connecticut and Connecticut Port Authority to revitalize the currently underutilized port facility at the State Pier in New London, creating approximately 460 construction jobs and another 100 permanent positions.
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