Today, Danish power major Orsted and its partner Eversource announced they signed a contract with Virginia-based Dominion Energy. In fact, this agreement will serve to charter what will become the first US-flagged offshore wind turbine installation vessel.
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Accordingly, the projected Charybdis vessel will allow for the construction of Revolution Wind and Sunrise Wind. Indeed, these two projects will have a combined capacity of 1.6GW and will be located off the US north-east coast. Moreover, the vessel will be able to handle next-generation turbine sizes of 12MW upwards. Besides, it will be capable of the installation of foundations for turbines.
About the Charybidis offshore turbine installation vessel
As the companies stated in a press release, they expect Charybdis to be sea-ready by late 2023. Indeed, the vessel will first be deployed out of New London Harbor to support the construction of these projects.
Similarly, the charter’s terms will allow the vessel, still subject to state regulatory approval, to support the construction of Dominion Energy’s 2.6GW Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) project. This offshore venture will be located off the coast of Virginia Beach, and Dominion Energy expects to complete it in 2026.
Worth noting, Dominion Energy is currently leading a consortium of naval engineering and fabrication outfits to build Charybdis. According to the parties, the project will support thousands of American jobs. Moreover, it will assist in the development of a new domestic supply chain for the growing North American offshore wind industry.
Furthermore, the Charybdis vessel will be fully utilized to support the installation of offshore wind generation off the US east coast. Accordingly, the approximately $500m vessels will operate as part of Dominion Energy’s contracted assets segment.
Indeed, the vessel is currently under construction in Brownsville, Texas, at Keppel AmFELS’s shipyard. Moreover, at peak construction, the Project will employ approximately 1000 US workers.
Domestic steel will also be used in the vessel’s hull and infrastructure fabrication. Therefore, the manufacturers will use more than 14,000 tonnes of domestic steel, with nearly 10,000 tonnes sourced from Alabama, West Virginia, and North Carolina suppliers.
Reception in Dominion Energy, Eversource, and Orsted
In this sense, Dominion Energy CEO Bob Blue said: “Offshore wind is critical to America’s clean-energy future. Thus, the Charybdis plays a vital role in reaching the Biden Administration’s ambitious goal of 30 gigawatts of offshore wind production by 2030.”
Therefore, “we look forward to working with Orsted and Eversource on the construction of Revolution Wind and Sunrise Wind,” added Mr. Blue. Particularly “to continue to grow the offshore wind industry in the US.”
Similarly, Joe Nolan, president and CEO of Eversource Energy, declared; “This new, state-of-the-art American-made wind turbine installation vessel is a major milestone for the offshore wind industry at both the local and national level.”
Finally, Orsted Offshore North America CEO David Hardy continued; “This investment will enable us to unlock the economic benefits of offshore wind. In fact, not just for the Northeast, but for the Southern states as well.
Thus, “we’re proud to partner with Dominion Energy and Eversource on this historic milestone,” concluded Mr. Hardy.