First US-built WTIV Charybdis Launched

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management Dr. Steve Feldgus, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Director Elizabeth Klein and Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) Deputy Director Paul Huang recently toured Dominion Energy’s Charybdis at the Seatrium AmFELS shipyard. (Photo: BOEM)
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management Dr. Steve Feldgus, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Director Elizabeth Klein and Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) Deputy Director Paul Huang recently toured Dominion Energy’s Charybdis at the Seatrium AmFELS shipyard. (Photo: BOEM)

The United States' first Jones Act-compliant offshore wind turbine installation vessel (WTIV), Charybdis, was launched into the water at the Seatrium AmFELS shipyard in Brownsville, Texas.

The 472-foot WTIV—the first and only to be constructed in the U.S.—is being built for Blue Ocean Energy Marine, a subsidiary of Dominion Energy, who announced the milestone on Monday. 

Welding of the ship's hull and commissioning of the vessel's four legs and related jacking system has been completed, Dominion said, and the vessel is expected to be completed and start sea trials by late 2024 or early 2025.

Charybdis is scheduled to be delivered in 2025 as a growing number of large-scale offshore wind developments ramp up in the U.S. Equipped with a 2,200mt Huisman leg encircling crane, the vessel is designed to handle turbine sizes of 12 megawatts (MW) or larger.

The $600-million-plus WTIV will first be deployed out of New London, Conn. to support the construction of Revolution Wind and Sunrise Wind offshore wind farms, both of which are being developed jointly by Ørsted and Eversource. 

The charter terms will allow the vessel to support the construction of Dominion's 2.6-gigawatt Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) project off the coast of Virginia Beach, which is expected to be completed in 2026.

It was announced today that the CVOW project received a final construction air permit from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), marking the final federal permit required to begin offshore construction. Offshore monopile installation for CVOW is expected to commence in May using DEME's installation vessel Orion.

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