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First U.S.-Built SOV Christened for Ørsted’s Offshore Wind Operations

Orsted SOV
ECO Edison is the first SOV built inthe U.S. for the offshore wind energy sector (Port of New Orleans)

Published May 13, 2024 2:00 PM by The Maritime Executive

 

Marking what is being called another milestone in the emerging U.S. offshore wind energy sector, the first U.S.-built service operations vessel (SOV) has completed construction. Named ECO Edison, the vessel was christened at the Port of New Orleans on Saturday, May 11. 

The ECO Edison is the first U.S.-flagged offshore wind SOV and will play an integral part in the operation and maintenance of the South Fork, Revolution Wind, and Sunrise Wind projects. At 262 feet (80 meters) in length, the vessel will provide accommodations for up to 60 wind turbine technicians who will work at sea servicing and maintaining the wind turbines.

Jennifer Scalise, wife of Steve Scalise, Majority Leader of the U.S House of Representatives, did the honors of christening the vessel. 

The order for the vessel was placed in 2020 as part of a long-term charter agreement between the Ørsted-Eversource joint venture that was formed to develop the wind farms and shipbuilding Edison Chouest. The vessel is owned by Edison Chouest Offshore operating on a long-term charter. Last year, Eversource announced that it was exiting the offshore wind energy sector and Ørsted assumed the agreement for the vessel and other assets. 

 

 

Construction began in 2022 with the shipbuilder reported that more than 600 workers invested nearly one million work hours to complete the vessel. Components were supplied from the Edison shipyards in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida and suppliers from 34 states. 

The vessel is powered by two CAT 3512E engines from Houston-based Caterpillar Marine. In addition to being EPA Tier 4 certified, Caterpillar reports the engines are ready to be dual-fuel methanol converted in the future.

Other features are similar to the SOVs operating in other parts of the world supporting the offshore energy sector. The ECO Edison has a “walk to work” motion-compensated gangway to provide access to the wind turbines. It also has a daughter craft onboard that can be deployed to maneuver crew around the wind farm sites.

Ørsted took full ownership of partnerships with the Port of Providence, the Port of Davisville, and Quonset Point, all in Rhode Island, and with Connecticut's New London State Pier as part of the agreement with Eversource. Ørsted also acquired ownership of the operations and maintenance hub in East Setauket, N.Y., where they previously reported the ECO Edison would be based.

It is one of several vessels being built at shipyards in the U.S. to support the emerging offshore wind energy sector. Last year, President Joe Biden highlighted that there were already 18 shipbuilding projects tied to the sector. The other vessels range from the first Jones Act-compliant installation vessels to a rock installation ship, and crew transfer vessels. They are being built at shipyards ranging from Florida to Louisiana, New York, Massachusetts, Michigan, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.