Ørsted and Eversource Tour Edison Chouest Louisiana Shipyard Where 1st U.S.-flagged Offshore Wind Service Operations Vessel is Taking Shape
The Gulf of Mexico region is playing a central role in the buildout of a new domestic offshore energy supply chain, including shipbuilding underway in Louisiana on the first-ever American-built offshore wind service operations vessel (SOV). Senior executives from American offshore wind leaders Ørsted and Eversource toured the Edison Chouest Offshore shipyard today to see the progress on this impressive, 262-foot long SOV.
Edison Chouest is marking the 50-percent completion milestone – with more than 275,000 work hours logged to date and no lost-time accidents – for the U.S.-flagged ECO EDISON, the first Jones Act-compliant wind farm SOV. Once in service, the vessel will play a key role in enabling domestic energy production, strengthening America’s energy independence and adding to the nation’s energy mix.
Ørsted Group EVP and CEO Americas David Hardy and Eversource VP of Business Development Mike Ausere met with members of the Chouest family and some of the 400 local workers building the SOV during today’s tour.
Ørsted and Eversource are growing an American offshore wind energy industry that’s creating jobs and driving economic development across dozens of states. Today, workers from several Gulf Coast companies are already putting their vast experience from other ocean-based industries to-work in this new energy sector, including companies like Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO), which has deep expertise in offshore energy. Their work on the ECO EDISON is powered by some of the hundreds of millions of dollars Ørsted and Eversource are investing into shipbuilding across the Gulf Coast.
“This shipyard and this vessel are living proof that American offshore wind energy is providing economic opportunity and creating jobs today across the country,” said David Hardy, Group EVP and CEO Americas at Ørsted. “This first American service operations vessel represents the ingenuity of businesses like Edison Chouest to build upon their legacy in offshore energy and to supply a cutting-edge vessel that will allow workers to safely and effectively operate offshore. The offshore wind energy industry is utilizing the talented and expert Gulf Coast workforce, and we’re proud that this first-of-its-kind vessel will support the production of more American energy, strengthening our national security and powering millions of American homes.”
“Offshore wind is a key driver of economic growth, creating well-paying jobs in states across the country and forging a new, domestic supply chain that, together, will position our nation as a global leader in the industries of tomorrow, today,” said Mike Ausere, Vice President of Business Development at Eversource Energy. “This vessel is a testament to American leadership: Designed and built in the United States; as long as the Superdome is tall; able to host 60 wind turbine technicians – all whom will benefit from the vessel’s state-of-the-art accommodations to keep them safe and well-cared for while at sea; and ready to support the long-term operations and maintenance of our portfolio of offshore wind farms and consequent production of enough energy to power more than a million U.S. homes.”
The ECO EDISON is being built at ECO in-house shipyards in Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida, supporting hundreds of jobs, with components of the vessel sourced from across 34 states.
Ørsted, Eversource and Edison Chouest expect to christen the ECO EDISON in 2024, and the vessel will play an integral part of the operation and maintenance of Ørsted and Eversource’s Revolution Wind, South Fork Wind and Sunrise Wind projects, together planned to generate more than 1.7 gigawatts of offshore wind energy, enough to power more than a million homes. The vessel will be based in Port Jefferson, New York.
The state-of-the-art liveaboard ECO EDISON will serve as a floating, year-round homebase for 60 of the first American offshore wind turbine technicians, who will work at-sea over the life of the wind farms, servicing and maintaining the wind turbines.
“We’re proud to put our expertise to work on such an important vessel for the offshore wind industry’s future American fleet,” said Mr. Gary Chouest, President of Edison Chouest Offshore. “Thanks to our decades of experience in offshore industries, our in-house engineers, and the hard work of more than 400 of our shipbuilders, we’re now more than 50-percent complete on this historic, specialized vessel that will serve as a model for the U.S. offshore wind industry and a homebase for American offshore wind technicians for years to come.”
The ECO EDISON’s special-purpose design is focused on passenger safety and comfort, enhanced maneuverability, extended offshore endurance and reduced emissions. It includes special features like a “walk to work” motion-compensated gangway that allows technicians to easily and safely access the wind turbines. A smaller, so-called “daughter” craft onboard can be deployed to efficiently maneuver crew across the wind farms.
Ørsted’s first class of U.S. offshore wind turbine technicians are currently completing extensive training, preparing to begin work offshore when South Fork Wind is completed later this year.
Meanwhile, in Texas, America's first wind turbine installation vessel, Charybdis, is under construction, in Brownsville. Ørsted and Eversource will be the first offshore wind developers to charter the Charybdis. Vessels from other ports in the Gulf are already supporting the construction of the South Fork Wind project.
A global clean energy leader, Ørsted develops, constructs, and operates offshore and land-based wind farms, solar farms, energy storage facilities, and bioenergy plants. Ørsted is the first energy company in the world with a science-based net-zero emissions target as validated by the Science Based Targets initiative.
In the United States, the company has approximately 700 employees and a growing portfolio of clean energy assets and partnerships that includes offshore wind energy, land-based wind energy, solar, storage technologies and e-fuels. A leader across the renewable energy sector in the United States, Ørsted holds the top position in offshore wind energy with approximately 5 gigawatts in development and operates America’s first offshore wind farm, located off the coast of Block Island. Ørsted has a total U.S. land-based capacity of 5 gigawatts across wind, solar, storage technologies and e-fuels. To learn more about the Ørsted U.S. business, visit us.orsted.com or follow the company on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (@ØrstedUS).
Eversource (NYSE: ES), celebrated as a national leader for its corporate citizenship, is the #1 energy company in Newsweek’s list of America’s Most Responsible Companies for 2023 and recognized as one of America’s Most JUST Companies. Eversource transmits and delivers electricity and natural gas and supplies water to approximately 4.4 million customers in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The #1 energy efficiency provider in the nation, Eversource harnesses the commitment of approximately 9,500 employees across three states to build a single, united company around the mission of safely delivering reliable energy and water with superior customer service. The company is empowering a clean energy future in the Northeast, with nationally recognized energy efficiency solutions and successful programs to integrate new clean energy resources like solar, offshore wind, electric vehicles and battery storage, into the electric system. For more information, please visit eversource.com, and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. For more information on our water services, visit aquarionwater.com.