Dominion Energy-led consortium builds America’s first offshore wind turbine installation vessel
Dominion Energy, Ørsted and Eversource reach deal on contract to charter offshore wind turbine installation vessel
Dominion Energy, Ørsted and Eversource announced today an agreement 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 gigawatts of clean, renewable energy.
The charter’s terms will allow the vessel, subject to state regulatory approval, to support construction of Dominion Energy’s 2.6 gigawatt 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, which will support thousands of American jobs, assist in the development of a new domestic supply chain for the growing North American offshore wind industry and be fully utilized in support of the installation of offshore wind generation off the East Coast.
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-foot 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, Va., one of the nation’s premier offshore wind installation harbors, 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 megawatts 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, Conn., another of the nation’s premier offshore wind installation harbors. Utilizing 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.
Bob Blue, Dominion Energy’s chair, president and chief executive officer, said:
“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 gigawatts of offshore wind production by 2030.”
Joe Nolan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Eversource Energy, said:
“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. As offshore wind continues to grow in Connecticut and throughout the U.S., we are seeing the birth of a new, domestic supply chain that will create thousands of jobs across the country for decades to come.”
David Hardy, Chief Executive Officer of Ørsted Offshore North America, said:
“A Jones Act-qualified installation vessel is a game-changer for the development of the U.S. offshore wind industry. 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.”
New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said:
“New York leads the nation with five active offshore wind developments, including the Sunrise Wind project, and the chartering of this historic vessel will play a critical role in not only achieving New York’s ambitious offshore wind energy goals, but our larger efforts to fully combat climate change and drive a robust, clean energy economy that benefits all.”