Maritime and offshore classification society American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) will class the first ever Jones Act compliant offshore wind turbine installation vessel (WTIV), seen as a key vessel for the development of the U.S. offshore wind industry.
With several gigawatts of offshore wind capacity to be installed along the U.S. East Coast in the next decade, access to Jones Act compliant WTIVs is of strategic importance to the U.S. offshore wind market. Currently, no such vessel exists.
Dominion Energy last year contracted Keppel AmFELS, a wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd, for the engineering, procurement and construction of the vessel, which is designed by NOV business unit GustoMSC.
The 472-foot vessel is designed by GustoMSC to handle turbine sizes of 12 megawatts or larger and will also be capable of the installation of foundations for turbines and other heavy lifts.
To be named Charybdis, the vessel will have accommodation for up to 119 crew and wind farm technicians. Seajacks will assist Dominion Energy with construction and operations oversight.
Matt Tremblay, ABS Senior Vice President, Global Offshore said: "ABS is the ideal partner for a highly specialized wind turbine installation vessel such as this for the U.S. market. Our extensive knowledge of U.S. regulations combined with offshore industry leadership means we are uniquely equipped to support this project and a range of other innovative vessels now being commissioned for U.S. wind farms. ABS is committed to playing a significant role in the safe development of the U.S. offshore wind industry."
"Dominion Energy is proud to be leading a consortium of respected industry participants in the construction of the first Jones Act compliant offshore wind turbine installation vessel, which will provide significant American jobs, and provide a reliable, home-grown installation solution with the capacity to handle the next generation of large-scale, highly-efficient turbine technologies,” said Mark D. Mitchell, Senior Vice President of Project Construction. "This will better enable the offshore wind industry to bring clean, renewable energy to customers in the U.S."
Dominion Energy plans to build the massive 2,640-MW Dominion Energy Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) project. For this, the company last year signed a conditional contract with Siemens Gamesa, to deploy Siemens Gamesa's latest offshore wind turbine variant of up to 15 MW capacity with a 222-meter rotor.
The wind turbine deal is subject to certain conditions including Dominion Energy’s final investment decision, governmental permitting, and other required approvals.
Back to the Charybdis, Seajacks Chief Executive Blair Ainslie said: "This next-generation turbine installation jack-up vessel is vital to the safe and cost-effective deployment of offshore wind energy in the U.S. Seajacks operates a fleet of offshore installation jack-ups in Europe and Asia and is looking forward to developing the offshore wind supply chain in the U.S. with our partners.”
Apart from ABS' role with Charybdis class, it is worth noting that the first U.S flagged Jones Act offshore wind farm service operation vessel (SOV) ever ordered will be built to ABS Class.