Dominion vessel to assist in building Northeastern offshore wind farms
$500M Charybdis will go to sea in late 2023
Dominion Energy Inc. has reached an agreement with two companies to charter its offshore wind turbine installation vessel to assist with construction of two offshore wind farms in the Northeastern U.S.
The partnership with Ørsted and Eversource was announced Tuesday and comes six months after Dominion announced construction had begun on the $500 million vessel, named Charybdis after the sea monster from Greek mythology.
It will be the nation’s first offshore wind vessel in compliance with the Jones Act, which requires goods shipped between U.S. ports to be carried on U.S.-flagged, U.S.-built ships. Charybdis will be 472 feet long, 184 feet wide, 38 feet deep and will be made of 14,000 tons of steel, with nearly 10,000 tons sourced from the U.S. The vessel can hold up to 119 people, including somewhere between 20 and 30 maritime crew and 30 to 100 wind turbine workers, depending on the vessel’s mission at the time.
“A Jones Act-qualified installation vessel is a game changer for the development of the U.S. offshore wind industry,” said David Hardy, CEO of Ørsted Offshore North America, in a statement. “This investment will enable us to unlock the economic benefits of offshore wind, not just for the Northeast, but for the Southern states as well. We’re proud to partner with Dominion Energy and Eversource on this historic milestone.”
The $500 million watercraft, Charybdis, is expected to be sea-ready by late 2023, and will be responsible for carrying materials and assisting in the construction of offshore wind farms.
It will first be deployed out of New London harbor in Connecticut to support the construction of Revolution Wind and Sunrise Wind, both under joint development by Ørsted and Eversource, according to Dominion’s release.
The projects are set to serve nearly one million homes in Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York. Once complete, the two farms will generate more than 1.6 gigawatts of energy.
The charter’s terms will allow the vessel, subject to state regulatory approval, to also support construction of Dominion Energy’s proposed $7.8 billion, 2.6 gigawatt Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach. The farm is expected to be completed by 2026.
The Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project will support roughly 900 jobs, with about 60% in Hampton Roads, leading to more than $143 million in economic output. Once construction is completed in 2027, more than 1,100 workers in Hampton Roads would operate and maintain the wind farm. That could translate into $210 million in economic output for the region, generating nearly $6 million in local tax revenue, according to Dominion.