Dominion Energy has contracted Keppel Offshore & Marine to build the first Jones Act compliant Wind Turbine Installation Vessel. It will cost about USD 600 million and will be built at Keppel’s yard in Brownsville, Texas. The vessel’s 2200-tonne main crane will be supplied by Huisman Equipment.

Work on the vessel, which will be named Charybdis, has commenced with a keel-laying ceremony at Keppel AMFELS’ yard in Brownsville, Texas, marking the start of a major construction milestone. The vessel is scheduled for delivery in 2023 and is expected to be fully utilised on US East Coast projects exceeding 5 gigawatts of US offshore wind construction through to 2027. ‘This is a monumental step for the offshore wind industry in America,’ said CEO Robert Blue of Dominion Energy.

The vessel’s hull will have a length of 143 metres, a width of 56 metres and a depth of 12 metres, making it one of the biggest offshore wind installation vessels in the world, according to Keppel. Its features include a main crane with a boom length of 130 metres and an expected lifting capacity of 2200 tonnes. The WTIV will have accommodation for up to 119 people. The vessel is designed to handle the next-generation turbine sizes of 12 megawatts or larger and will also be capable of installing wind turbine foundations.

Huisman crane

Huisman has been contracted by Keppel AmFELS to deliver the 2200-tonne leg encircling crane for the Charybdis. For this project, Huisman will implement the same robust and proven technology used for the crane for Seajacks’ offshore wind installation vessel Scylla. The crane is scheduled for delivery in 2023, with Huisman North America, based in Rosenberg, Texas, planning to commission and test it at the Keppel AmFELS yard in Brownsville.

Also read: Dominion orders Huisman crane for first Jones Act installation vessel

US offshore wind

According to a report by The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the US Department of Energy found the US could develop a total of 86 GW of offshore wind projects by 2050. Project developers expect fourteen offshore wind projects totalling 9112 MW to be operational by 2026. States are driving strong demand for offshore wind energy and have established over 29,100 MW of offshore wind procurement targets as of September 2020.

This article first appeared on Project Cargo Journal, which is another publication of SWZ|Maritime’s publishing partner Promedia.