North Star Plans World's First Hybrid Daughter Craft for Offshore Wind

Courtesy Chartwell / North Star

Published Jul 20, 2021 8:29 PM by The Maritime Executive

The world’s first hybrid-powered daughter craft boats for the offshore wind market will be built in the UK for North Star Renewables, the offshore wind division of longtime offshore vessel operator North Star.

Daughter craft are used by in the European offshore wind industry to transfer technicians between a large service operations vessel (SOV) - a floatel vessel with work spaces where they live for weeks at a time - to the wind turbines to undertake maintenance. Daughter craft are also used to support trips to shore and make deliveries in-field.  

Over the last two years, North Star’s teams in Newcastle, Lowestoft and Aberdeen, have worked in close partnership with Chartwell Marine to produce a high performance, hybrid-powered daughter craft vessel design. It introduces hybrid propulsion into tho market for the first time, and it also sets a new bar for sea state operability at wave heights of up to about 5.5 feet - a third higher than the best currently-available options.  

"The design builds on learnings from our low emission research and development project funded by the Carbon Trust’s Offshore Wind Accelerator, and, working with North Star, we have been able to develop an effective hybrid vessel that will live up to the demands of offshore wind operations," said Andy Page, Managing Director for Chartwell Marine. "Above all, we aim to furnish the sector with vessel designs that are safe, cost-effective, and sustainable in equal measure."

The contract for construction of two new vessels will be awarded to a UK shipyard in September, and they will be delivered in 2022 and 2023.

The SOV and crew transfer vessel (CTV) markets already have their first hybrid-powered vessels for offshore wind support, and the addition of a hybrid daughter craft raises the possibility of an all-hybrid offshore wind support operation.