Dominion Energy, Ørsted and Eversource have entered into an agreement for Ørsted and Eversource to charter Dominion Energy’s Charybdis, the first Jones Act-qualified offshore wind turbine installation vessel in the U.S., for the construction of two offshore wind farms in the Northeast.

Charybdis, which is expected to be sea ready by late 2023, will first be deployed to support the construction of Revolution Wind and Sunrise Wind, both under joint development by Ørsted and Eversource, to serve homes in Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York. Once complete, the two projects will generate more than 1.6 GW of renewable energy.

The charter’s terms will allow the vessel, subject to state regulatory approval, to support construction of Dominion Energy’s 2.6 GW Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) project off the coast of Virginia Beach, which is expected, consistent with prior guidance, to be completed in 2026.

Dominion Energy is leading a consortium of naval engineering and fabrication firms to build Charybdis, which will support thousands of U.S. jobs, assist in the development of a new domestic supply chain for the growing North American offshore wind industry and be fully utilized in support of the installation of offshore wind generation off the East Coast.

The approximately $500 million vessel will operate as part of Dominion Energy’s Contracted Assets segment. Dominion Energy’s regulated customers, including in Virginia, will not experience any bill impact associated with use of the vessel in support of the Revolution Wind and Sunrise Wind projects. 

The 472-foot vessel is being constructed in Brownsville, Texas, at global marine shipbuilder firm Keppel AmFELS’s shipyard, using domestically sourced steel. At peak construction, 1,000 U.S. workers will be employed on this project. Once complete, the vessel will be homeported in Hampton Roads, Va., one of the nation’s premier offshore wind installation harbors, and utilize a U.S. crew.

The vessel’s hull and infrastructure will be fabricated with more than 14,000 tons of domestic steel, with nearly 10,000 tons 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 MW or larger. It will also be capable of the installation of foundations for turbines.

For use on Revolution Wind and Sunrise Wind, the vessel will work from State Pier in New London, Conn., another of the nation’s premier offshore wind installation harbors. Utilizing State Pier for wind turbine transportation and installation will employ longshoremen, stevedores, technicians, crane operators, electricians, welders, quality inspectors, and other building and construction trades jobs. 

“U.S.-built equipment to spur renewable energy for U.S. consumers is a true win-win,” says Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn. “Dominion Energy’s first-ever, U.S.-built offshore wind installation vessel for use on a Connecticut project is a landmark moment for the U.S. offshore wind industry, supporting President Joe Biden’s vision for a carbon-free electric sector and job growth. It represents a generational commitment to the shipbuilding industry, the domestic infrastructure required to meet the monumental challenges posed by climate change and U.S. workers. Connecticut looks forward to Charybdis’ arrival at a redeveloped State Pier and the jobs it will support as Ørsted and Eversource bring their projects to life.” 

This post appeared first on North American Windpower.

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