Mayflower Wind, developers of a planned 804-megawatt offshore wind project off southern New England, announced Thursday that it has awarded a contract to Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding/Duclos Corp., Somerset, Mass., for the design and building of a Jones Act-compliant hybrid battery diesel-electric crew transfer vessel.

“The design of this world-class CTV utilizes technologies that will provide significant fuel savings and emissions reductions, including the use of lithium-ion battery energy storage to create a hybrid vessel that will be a bridge to full electrification,” according to a statement from Mayflower.

The project involves a multiparty agreement that includes other global maritime industry collaborators that have leading roles in offshore wind vessel design including Incat Crowther, with offices in Australia, the UK and Lafayette, La.; BAR Technologies in the UK; Corvus Energy of Norway; and ABS, Spring, Texas.

The specification and design process will commence if Mayflower is awarded another contract under the latest Massachusetts procurement for offshore wind. Mayflower is a 50/50 joint venture between Shell New Energies US LLC and Ocean Winds, and holds an offshore wind lease area with the potential to supply over 2,000 MW to New England.

“Mayflower Wind aims to develop the most innovative, fuel-efficient CTV built in the United States,” said Michael Brown, CEO of Mayflower Wind. “Ensuring that this vessel is constructed at a shipyard in Somerset is a big boost to the Massachusetts maritime economy and launches this shipyard toward a new and growing market.”

In its 66-year history Gladding-Hearn has built more than 430 vessels, including ferries serving New York, Boston Harbor, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, and Block Island. The shipyard is the leading U.S. builder of offshore pilot boats.

Gladding-Hearn president Peter Duclos has long prepared for the advent of the U.S. offshore wind market, and said this project has the potential to create new jobs at his company over the next 24-36 months.

“We are excited about the possibility of working with Mayflower Wind,” Duclos said in a joint statment. “They want to raise the bar of CTV design and have assembled an experienced team to do just that.”

Duclos said his company has seen the promise of the offshore wind market over the past 10-plus years and that the timing of this opportunity is perfect given the pandemic’s negative effect on the new vessel construction market.

“With our location and experienced team at Gladding-Hearn, we are ready to serve the offshore wind market. We’ve been working to make it happen since the early days of Cape Wind. We’re glad to finally see it come to fruition with Mayflower Wind,” he said.

Brown noted that by encouraging local shipyards such as Gladding-Hearn to establish themselves as shipbuilders for the offshore wind industry, Mayflower Wind is working to foster a local maritime supply chain.

“This is not just an agreement with a local shipyard. It is integration of that shipyard into a collaboration with the most sophisticated and capable technology providers and designers in the world, moving this key local supplier to the forefront of its industry and setting them in a position to compete successfully on the global stage,” said Brown.

“This is exactly the kind of tangible, real and local economic development that the legislature was shooting for when we enacted the law creating the market for offshore wind power here in Massachusetts,” said Massachusetts state Rep. Patricia Haddad, D-Somerset. “Not only will this project provide vital work for a critical local business it will position Gladding-Hearn to successfully compete for future jobs by establishing them as a technology leader.”

The partners in the project each bring unique knowledge, industry experience, and technologies to create what will be an industry-leading low emissions vessel design capable of operating in challenging weather and ocean conditions like those found offshore New England.

Incat Crowther is the designer of the vessel, which will be based upon one of its industry leading CTVs already in service in Europe and customized to suit local requirements.

ABS is onboard to provide design review for Approval In Principle, verification of applicable rules, standards and US Coast Guard regulations, and classification of the CTV.

BAR Technologies brings its foil optimized stability system for fuel savings and reduced vertical accelerations for improved safety and comfort, as well as its advanced computational fluid dynamics modelling and simulation that can optimize the hull and foils to reduce the drag and increase fuel efficiency.

Corvus is supplier of its innovative and proven onboard battery energy storage solution to enable efficient lower emissions operations.

Speaking on the collaboration, John Cooper, CEO of BAR Technologies, said, “BAR firmly believes in collaboration as the way forward in establishing and improving vessels, technologies, and expertise in offshore wind. We are delighted to be working with Mayflower Wind and Gladding-Hearn as leaders in the U.S. market, to both support them in building out a successful offshore wind support sector and drive the further development of BAR’s energy efficient vessel technologies.”

Greg Lennon, American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) vice president, global offshore wind said, "ABS is pleased to partner with this team and provide our U.S. regulatory insight to support Shell New Energies and Ocean Winds, as we all advance the U.S. offshore wind supply chain. We are excited to help develop this advanced hybrid concept while keeping the focus on safety through the design review and eventual classification of the vessel. This Jones Act-compliant CTV concept is the latest evidence of ABS' commitment to supporting delivery of local content.”

Ronald Hansen, senior vice president ship solutions, Corvus Energy, said that Corvus Energy Storage Solutions are ideally suited for crew transfer vessels as they are very adaptable to meet this innovative CTV design criteria.

“Corvus ESS have multiple possibilities of installation which ensures the optimal hybrid solution for maximum emission savings,” he said. “Moreover, batteries are safer and quieter for the crew, and save both fuel and maintenance costs for the owners.”

Design of the vessel would occur during 2022-2023, setting the stage for building and launching the hybrid CTV in the mid-2020s, timed for the start of operation of wind turbines by Mayflower Wind.

Contributing Editor Kirk Moore was a reporter for the Asbury Park Press for over 30 years before joining WorkBoat in 2015. He wrote several award-winning stories on marine, environmental, coastal and military issues that helped drive federal and state government policy changes. He has also been an editor for WorkBoat’s sister publication, National Fisherman, for over 25 years. Moore was awarded the Online News Association 2011 Knight Award for Public Service for the “Barnegat Bay Under Stress,” 2010 series that led to the New Jersey state government’s restoration plan. He lives in West Creek, N.J.

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