Chouest begins building first Jones Act SOV

The Weeks Marine tugboat Thomas tows a deck barge on the wire in the South Atlantic.

(CUT OFF, La.) — Orsted and Eversource, along with Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO), announced Thursday that construction of the first Jones Act-qualified wind farm service operations vessel (SOV) in the United States has begun.

The vessel, ECO Edison, is being built at ECO in-house shipyards in Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida, creating well over 300 new jobs, with components of the vessel being manufactured across 12 states: Alabama, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

ECO Edison will be delivered in 2024 and immediately provide operational support out of Port Jefferson, N.Y., for Orsted and Eversource’s joint venture offshore wind portfolio, which includes South Fork Wind, Revolution Wind and Sunrise Wind. Once complete, South Fork Wind, Sunrise Wind and Revolution Wind will generate approximately 1.8 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind power, enough to power over 1 million homes.

Edison Chouest Offshore rendering

The vessel, which will be over 260 feet long and capable of housing 60 crewmembers, will be utilized during the operation and maintenance phases of the wind farm projects, serving as an at-sea base of operations to accommodate and transfer technicians, tools and parts safely to and from the individual wind turbine generators.

“This new vessel will be the first of its kind in the United States and play a crucial role in the growth of America’s offshore wind industry,” said David Hardy, chief executive officer of Orsted Offshore North America. “We’re proud to work with companies like Edison Chouest Offshore to support good-paying jobs in states across the country as we build a new energy future.”

“Today, the development of a new, clean energy future for the United States takes another important step forward as construction begins on the nation’s first Jones Act-qualified service and operations vessel,” said Joe Nolan, CEO and president of Eversource Energy. “Construction of this vessel will mean hundreds of new jobs for American workers as we continue to bring the benefits of offshore wind to communities around the country.”

With work beginning on the vessel, ECO has also announced the selection of Caterpillar Marine, GE Power Conversion and Voith Schneider as power and propulsion system providers for ECO Edison. The vessel will be powered by four Caterpillar 3512E EPA Tier 4 generator sets (gensets), each rated for 1,700 ekW. The gensets are configured for variable speed operation, allowing for the highest levels of efficiency and minimized exhaust emissions. The GE Power Conversion electrical system can operate with gensets or stored energy.

The latest generation of Voith Schneider propellers (VSPs), featuring integrated permanent magnet motors, are utilized for propulsion. These propellers have a rapid thrust and steering response, with minimal noise and vibration. The thrusters also feature roll reduction and sleep mode, maximizing station keeping, active motion compensated gangway workability, and comfort. The vessel will also be equipped with extensive remote monitoring and support capability provided by Marine Technologies, another Louisiana-based company.

This full configuration results in a vessel that delivers high efficiency, low power consumption, minimum greenhouse gas emissions, maximum workability and the highest levels of comfort. The vessel is also being constructed to incorporate future zero-carbon emission technology to assist in reaching carbon-neutral goals.

– Edison Chouest Offshore

By Rich Miller