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ECO EDISON offshore wind service operations vessel (SOV) post-launch

Photo courtesy Ørsted

First U.S.-Built Offshore Wind Service Operations Vessel Launched

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 1999
May 13, 2024

The first American-built, owned, and crewed offshore wind service operations vessel (SOV), the ECO EDISON, was launched over the weekend, marking a significant milestone for the nation’s offshore wind supply chain.

The maiden U.S.-flagged offshore wind SOV was officially christened at the Port of New Orleans by Jennifer Scalise, wife of U.S. House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (LA-01). The event was also attended by U.S. Congressman Troy A. Carter, Sr. (LA-02), and senior executives from American offshore wind leader Ørsted and Louisiana-based vessel builder Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO).

The ECO EDISON is set to play a key role in the operation and maintenance of Ørsted and Eversource’s South Fork Wind, Revolution Wind, and Sunrise Wind projects.

The state-of-the-art, 262-foot long ECO EDISON was constructed by over 600 workers across nearly 1 million work hours at ECO’s in-house shipyards in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida. Components for the vessel were sourced from 34 states, stretching from Alabama to West Virginia.

David Hardy, Group EVP and CEO Americas at Ørsted, commended the Gulf Coast region’s pivotal role in the burgeoning U.S. offshore wind supply chain and thanked Edison Chouest for delivering the first American-made service operations vessel.

“The Gulf Coast region is playing a huge role in the growing U.S. offshore wind supply chain, using their decades of experience to deliver more homegrown American energy and serving as one example of Ørsted’s more than $20 billion of investments into the United States,” said Hardy.

The ECO EDISON will act as a floating, year-round base for 60 of the first American offshore wind turbine technicians who will service and maintain the wind turbines over the life of the wind farms.

“We’re incredibly proud that our shipyards, engineers and more than 600 shipbuilders have now delivered a U.S.-first vessel that will support offshore wind energy for years to come for our trusted partners at Ørsted,” added Gary Chouest, President of Edison Chouest Offshore. “Just as several of our vessels supported the construction of the first utility-scale offshore wind farm, South Fork Wind Farm, so too will the ECO EDISON lead the way as this first-ever American-made offshore wind SOV.”

The vessel will be powered by two Cat® 3512E engines from key supplier, Houston-based Caterpillar Marine.

The ECO EDISON‘s design focuses on passenger safety and comfort, enhanced maneuverability, extended offshore endurance, and reduced emissions. It features a “walk to work” motion-compensated gangway for technicians’ easy and safe access to the wind turbines and an onboard “daughter” craft for efficient crew maneuvering across the wind farms.

The launch comes as former president Donald Trump, the presumptive 2024 Republican presidential nominee, promised to sign an executive order targeting offshore wind farms on his first day in office if he wins.

“We are going to make sure that that ends on day one,” Trump said at an oceanfront rally Saturday in Wildwood, New Jersey “I’m going to write it out in an executive order.”

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