CUT OFF, Louisiana – Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO), Ørsted and Eversource announced today the execution of a long-term charter agreement for the provision of the first-ever US flagged “Jones Act”-compliant service operations vessel (SOV).
The SOV will be engineered, constructed and operated by ECO as an integral part of the operation and maintenance of the Revolution Wind, South Fork Wind and Sunrise Wind offshore wind farms in the northeast United States, which are dependent on obtaining the necessary federal permits from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).
The SOV will be utilized during the operation and maintenance (O&M) phases of the wind farm projects, serving as an at sea base of operations to accommodate and transfer technicians, tools and parts safely to and from the individual wind turbine generators. This vessel is a special-purpose design with focus on passenger comfort and safety, enhanced maneuverability and ship motions, extended offshore endurance and reduced emissions.
The vessel will be built at a combination of Edison Chouest’s shipyards in Florida, Mississippi and Louisiana, creating well over 300 new construction jobs. The construction of this vessel will also have a broader economic impact on other US states hosting suppliers of major components, with some notable beneficiaries being North Carolina and Illinois for steel and main engines, respectively.
The vessel will be over 260 ft long and capable of housing 60 passengers. Crew will enjoy access to passenger staterooms with private bathrooms, an exercise room, cinema/training room, internet café and multiple lounges. The SOV will include a below deck warehouse to palletize storage for wind farm tools, components and supplies with step-less access to an elevator.
A daughter craft, with associated launch and recovery system and hydraulic height-compensating landing platform, will also be installed for infield turbine repair operations. In keeping with the environmental goals of the offshore wind industry, this vessel will operate on diesel electric power that meets EPA Tier 4 emission standards and will feature proprietary ECO variable frequency drives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.