Empire Wind selects Edison Chouest Offshore to provide plug-in hybrid service operations vessel

May 14, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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Empire Offshore Wind — the joint venture between Equinor and BP will include a wind turbine assembly plant at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal as well as two wind farms off the coast of Long Island — has awarded a long-term service agreement to a company that will operate an unusual plug-in ship.

The “hybrid service operations vessel [SOV],” operated by Edison Chouest Offshore, will be the first in the U.S. offshore wind sector capable of sailing partially on battery power, according to Equinor.

The vessel will be able to transport 60 wind turbine technicians and will be utilized for the safe and efficient operations and maintenance of the Empire Wind 1 and Empire Wind 2 offshore wind farms off Long Island. However, it will have its home port at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal, and will go back and forth between the two locations.

The plug-in hybrid vessel will be the first in the U.S. capable of sailing on battery power for portions of the route, according to Equinor. The SOV will sail into South Brooklyn Marine Terminal on battery power, recharge its battery using shore power, then sail out of New York Harbor.

The ship will be constructed with components from ECO’s extensive supplier base across 34 U.S. states. The supplier estimates that this will generate over 250 high-skilled U.S. jobs during vessel construction.

Edison Chouest Offshore is also dedicating considerable effort and resources to recruiting and training vessel crew from the New York region. ECO will operate the vessel from its New York office.

Equinor and bp are investing in port upgrades to help transform the underused South Brooklyn Marine Terminal (SBMT) into a world-class offshore wind staging and assembling facility and to become the operations and maintenance (O&M) base both for Equinor and other project developers going forward.

SBMT will become one of the largest dedicated offshore wind port facilities in the United States at approximately 73 acres, with the capacity to accommodate wind turbine generator staging and assembly activities at the scale required by component manufacturers.

SBMT is being redeveloped together with New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and terminal owner Sustainable South Brooklyn Marine Terminal (SSBMT). SSBMT is a joint venture of Red Hook Terminals and Industry City.

“Equinor and bp’s agreement with Edison Chouest will generate ripple effects throughout the supply chain, creating jobs in numerous states across the country. With the first-of-its=kind, plug-in hybrid service operations vessel, Empire Wind will reduce potential emissions from our operations in the New York City area,” said Teddy Muhlfelder, vice president, Empire Wind and Beacon Wind, Equinor.

“Edison Chouest Offshore will provide a state-of-the-art vessel fit for Empire Wind. We selected Edison Chouest in part for its extensive experience and expertise as a shipbuilder and we look forward to a collaboration beginning with construction and continuing through operations for the next decade or more” said Mette H. Ottøy, chief procurement officer, Equinor.

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