Dominion Energy announced today the keel laying of the first Jones Act compliant offshore wind turbine installation vessel, currently being constructed by the global marine shipbuilding firm Keppel AmFELS at its Brownsville, Texas shipyard.
With several gigawatts of offshore wind capacity to be installed along the U.S. East Coast in the next decade, access to Jones Act compliant offshore wind turbine installation vessels is of strategic importance to the U.S. offshore wind market.
“This is a monumental step for the offshore wind industry in America,” said Robert M. Blue, Dominion Energy’s president and chief executive officer. “Dominion Energy is proud to be leading a consortium of respected industry participants in the construction of the first Jones Act compliant offshore wind turbine installation vessel, which will provide significant American jobs, and provide a reliable, home-grown installation solution with the capacity to handle the next generation of large-scale, highly-efficient turbine technologies. This will better enable the offshore wind industry to bring clean, renewable energy to customers in the U.S.”
The vessel’s hull and infrastructure will utilize more than 14,000 tons of domestic steel, with nearly 10,000 tons sourced from Alabama and West Virginia suppliers. The vessel’s hull has a length of 472 feet, a width of 184 feet and a depth of 38 feet, making it one of the biggest vessels of its kind in the world. It has accommodations for up to 119 people. The vessel is designed to handle current turbine technologies as well as next generation turbine sizes of 12 megawatt or larger and will also be capable of the installation of foundations for turbines and other heavy lifts.
In August 2020, Dominion Energy announced the selection of the global firm Huisman to fabricate the crane to be used on the offshore wind turbine installation vessel. The main crane has a boom length of 426 feet and an expected lifting capacity of 2,200 tons.
The vessel is designed by GustoMSC.