An agreement has been reached for Ørsted and Eversource to charter Dominion Energy’s Charybdis, the first Jones Act-qualified offshore wind turbine installation vessel in the United States, 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 out of New London harbor to support the construction of Revolution Wind and Sunrise Wind, both under joint development by Ørsted and Eversource, to serve nearly 1 million homes in Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York. Once complete, the two projects will generate more than 1.6 GW.
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 renowned naval engineering and fabrication firms to build Charybdis. 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-ft 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, Virginia, and utilize an American 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, Connecticut. Using 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.
“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 GW 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.”
“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.”
News item from Dominion
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