Dominion Energy announced today that Ørsted and Eversource have agreed to charter Dominion’s Charybdis, the first Jones Act-qualified offshore wind turbine installation vessel in the U.S., for the construction of two offshore wind farms in the Northeast.
Charybdis, which is expected to be operational by late 2023, will first be deployed out of New London, Conn., harbor to support the construction of Revolution Wind and Sunrise Wind, both under joint development by Ørsted and Eversource, to serve nearly one million homes in Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York. Once complete, the two projects will generate more than 1.6 gigawatts of clean, renewable energy.
The charter’s terms will allow the vessel, subject to state regulatory approval, to support construction of Dominion Energy’s 2.6 gigawatt Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) project off the coast of Virginia Beach, which is expected to be completed in 2026.
Dominion Energy is leading a consortium of renowned naval engineering and fabrication firms to build Charybdis, which will support thousands of U.S. jobs, assist in the development of a new domestic supply chain for the growing North American offshore wind industry, and be fully utilized in support of the installation of offshore wind generation off the East Coast, Dominion said.
The approximately $500 million vessel will operate as part of Dominion Energy’s Contracted Assets segment. Dominion’s regulated customers, including in Virginia, will not experience any bill impact associated with use of the vessel in support of the Revolution Wind and Sunrise Wind projects.
The 472-foot vessel is being constructed in Brownsville, Texas, at Keppel AmFELS’s shipyard, using domestically-sourced steel. At peak construction, 1,000 U.S. workers will be employed on this project. Once complete, the vessel will be homeported in Hampton Roads, Va., one of the nation’s premier offshore wind installation harbors, and utilize a U.S. crew.
The vessel's hull and infrastructure will be fabricated with more than 14,000 tons of domestic steel, with nearly 10,000 tons sourced from Alabama, West Virginia and North Carolina suppliers. The vessel is designed to handle current turbine technologies as well as next generation turbine sizes of 12 megawatts or larger. It will also be capable of the installation of foundations for turbines.
For use on Revolution Wind and Sunrise Wind, the vessel will work from State Pier in New London, another of the nation’s premier offshore wind installation harbors. Utilizing State Pier for wind turbine transportation and installation will employ longshoremen, stevedores, technicians, crane operators, electricians, welders, quality inspectors, and other building and construction trades jobs.
“Offshore wind is critical to America’s clean-energy future and the Charybdis plays a vital role in reaching the Biden administration’s ambitious goal of 30 gigawatts of offshore wind production by 2030,” said Bob Blue, Dominion Energy’s chair, president and CEO. “We look forward to working with Ørsted and Eversource on the construction of Revolution Wind and Sunrise Wind to continue to grow the offshore wind industry in the U.S.”
“This new, state-of-the-art American-made wind turbine installation vessel is a major milestone for the offshore wind industry at both the local and national level,” said Joe Nolan, president and CEO of Eversource Energy. “As offshore wind continues to grow in Connecticut and throughout the U.S., we are seeing the birth of a new, domestic supply chain that will create thousands of jobs across the country for decades to come. We are proud to partner with Dominion Energy as the first-ever users of this new world-class vessel and bring it to New London to support our work at State Pier and deliver local jobs and economic investment.”
“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. “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.”
Among the largest offshore wind developers in the Northeast, Ørsted and Eversource continue to play a unique role in the development of a domestic offshore wind supply chain. Both companies are focused on bringing the economic benefits that come with building a new industry to communities throughout the U.S. East Coast.
Ørsted and Eversource have also committed nearly $100 million to a public-private partnership with the state of Connecticut and Connecticut Port Authority to revitalize the currently underutilized port facility at the State Pier in New London. Approximately 460 construction jobs will be created for the redevelopment of State Pier along with another 100 permanent positions. Also, an $8.2 million federal TIGER Grant to the Connecticut Department of Transportation enabled Connecticut to link the modern national freight network to the port.
The redevelopment project at State Pier is estimated to add millions of dollars in value to the New London economy. In addition, the City of New London and Ørsted-Eversource executed a 10-year host community agreement that brings a guaranteed $5.25 million in new revenue to the city.