Empire Offshore Wind, a joint venture between Equinor and bp, has awarded a long-term service operations vessel charter agreement to U.S. marine transportation provider, Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO).
The plug-in hybrid service operations vessel (SOV) will accommodate up to 60 wind turbine technicians. It will be utilized for the safe and efficient operations and maintenance of the Empire Wind 1 and Empire Wind 2 offshore wind farms. The charter agreement has a fixed period of 10 years, with commencement in the mid-2020s.
The U.S.-flagged vessel will be Jones Act-compliant and have its home port at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal (SBMT) in New York. The SOV will be constructed with components from ECO’s extensive supplier base across 34 states. ECO will operate the vessel from their New York office.
“Equinor and bp’s agreement with Edison Chouest will generate ripple effects throughout the supply chain, creating jobs in numerous states across the country,” says Teddy Muhlfelder, vice president of Empire Wind and Beacon Wind for Equinor. “With the first of its kind, plug-in hybrid service operations vessel, Empire Wind will reduce potential emissions from our operations in the New York City area. This is another critical step forward in the development of the offshore wind industry, while helping achieve critical state and federal climate goals.”
The plug-in hybrid vessel will be capable of sailing on battery power for portions of the route. The SOV will sail into the port of South Brooklyn Marine Terminal on battery power, recharge the battery using shore power and sail out of New York Harbor. The hybrid vessel is certified to “tier 4 emissions standards.”
“Edison Chouest Offshore will provide a state-of-the-art vessel fit for Empire Wind,” comments Mette H. Ottøy, chief procurement officer at Equinor. “We selected Edison Chouest in part for its extensive experience and expertise as a shipbuilder and we look forward to a collaboration beginning with construction and continuing through operations for the next decade or more. This is an important step in our efforts to develop a domestic supply chain in the U.S. for offshore wind.”