Ørsted and Eversource have selected two regional vessel operators that will partner with Rhode Island shipyards to build crew transfer vessels (CTVs) serving the offshore wind companies’ Northeast wind farms.

Joint venture partners Ørsted and Eversource will charter five new offshore wind CTVs from New York-based WindServe Marine and Massachusetts-based American Offshore Services (AOS). WindServe Marine’s affiliate shipyard, Senesco Marine, at Quonset Point in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, will build three of the vessels and AOS is partnering with Blount Boats & Shipyard, of Warren, Rhode Island, to build another two vessels.

Ørsted and Eversource’s chartering of the vessels will create about 80 local construction jobs at Senesco and Blount Boats, plus another approximately 48 jobs for captains and crew who will work aboard the vessels, primarily during the wind farms’ construction. A number of regional suppliers will provide vessel components, such as electronics, engines, cranes, aluminum, and safety equipment.

“Rhode Island continues to be a national leader in clean energy innovation,” said Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee. “We are proud that these companies chose our shipyards for this major partnership that will bring jobs to the Ocean State. With our blue economy ecosystem, which positions us to support the entire offshore wind supply chain, and substantial proposed investments to expand capacity for offshore wind developers, we are on a path to solidify Rhode Island as the East Coast hub of offshore wind development.”

These purpose-built vessels are designed to handle the unique offshore conditions at the wind farms, which will be located 15 miles off the Southern New England coast, and to transport technicians and materials safely to and from the wind farms and local ports.

Construction work is expected to start early this year at Senesco on the 88-ft long WindServe vessels and at Blount Boats on the 101-foot long AOS vessels. All five vessels will be built over the next two years, ready to provide crew transfer support during the construction phases of the Ørsted and Eversource joint venture’s three Northeast projects. The first vessel will be completed by early 2023.

The two shipyards are leaders in building offshore wind crew transfer vessels: Blount Boats built the country’s first-ever offshore wind crew transfer vessel, the Atlantic Pioneer, which has served Ørsted’s Block Island Wind Farm since the American-first offshore wind farm began operations in 2016. Senesco built the WINDSERVE JOURNEY crew transfer vessel, which began operations in 2020 at the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project; Ørsted supported the engineering, procurement and construction of that offshore wind farm.

News item from Ørsted and Eversource

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