Ørsted, Shipbuilder Edison Chouest Christen First U.S.-Built, Offshore Wind Service Operations Vessel | Trade and Industry Development

Ørsted, Shipbuilder Edison Chouest Christen First U.S.-Built, Offshore Wind Service Operations Vessel

May 13, 2024
600+ Workers Across Three U.S. Gulf States Built a “Floating Home Base” for Offshore Wind Technicians Supporting Ørsted’s Northeast Wind Farms

America’s offshore wind energy supply chain is marking a major milestone, with the christening of the first-ever American-built, owned, and crewed offshore wind service operations vessel (SOV), which will play a key role in enabling domestic energy production and strengthening America’s energy independence.

U.S. House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (LA-01) and U.S. Congressman Troy A. Carter, Sr. (LA-02) joined senior executives from American offshore wind leader Ørsted and Louisiana-based vessel builder Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO) at events in Louisiana this weekend to celebrate the completion of the SOV, the ECO EDISON.

The ECO EDISON, officially christened Saturday at the Port of New Orleans by Jennifer Scalise, is the first U.S.-flagged offshore wind SOV. An example of the major financial investments into U.S. ports, maritime activities, manufacturing, workforce and domestic energy by Ørsted, the vessel will play an integral part of the operation and maintenance of Ørsted and Eversource’s South Fork Wind, Revolution Wind and Sunrise Wind projects.

Ørsted’s investment in the ECO EDISON is a testament to the company’s commitment to building a new domestic offshore energy supply chain. The ECO EDISON was built by more than 600 workers – across nearly 1 million work hours – at ECO in-house shipyards in Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida, with components of the vessel sourced from 34 states, from Alabama to West Virginia.

Ørsted’s projects are creating jobs and driving economic development across dozens of states, with the Gulf of Mexico region playing a central role. Several Gulf Coast companies are putting their vast experience from other ocean-based industries to work in this new energy sector, including companies like ECO, which has deep expertise in offshore energy.

The state-of-the-art, 262-foot long liveaboard ECO EDISON will serve as a floating, year-round homebase for 60 of the first American offshore wind turbine technicians, who will work at-sea over the life of the wind farms, servicing and maintaining the wind turbines.

“The Gulf Coast region is playing a huge role in the growing U.S. offshore wind supply chain, using their decades of experience to deliver more homegrown American energy and serving as one example of Ørsted’s more than $20 billion of investments into the United States,” said David Hardy, Group EVP and CEO Americas at Ørsted. “Thank you to Edison Chouest for delivering this milestone – building the first American-made service operations vessel. Our team can’t wait to put her in service, with state-of-the-art safety technologies and features to ensure comfort at sea. We’re grateful to Leader Scalise and his wife, Jennifer, and Congressman Carter for joining the festivities this weekend to ready the ECO EDISON for her work advancing American energy.”

“We’re incredibly proud that our shipyards, engineers and more than 600 shipbuilders have now delivered a U.S.-first vessel that will support offshore wind energy for years to come for our trusted partners at Ørsted,” said Mr. Gary Chouest, President of Edison Chouest Offshore. “Just as several of our vessels supported the construction of the first utility-scale offshore wind farm, South Fork Wind Farm, so too will the ECO EDISON lead the way as this first-ever American-made offshore wind SOV.”

The ECO EDISON will be powered by two Cat® 3512E engines from key supplier, Houston-based Caterpillar Marine, underscoring the vast opportunity offshore wind offers existing American manufacturers and shipyards.

“Caterpillar Marine is committed to helping our customers reach their most challenging goals and is proud to provide the power for this first American-built offshore wind SOV. The U.S. EPA Tier 4 certified Cat 3512E engines are built with the highest durability and are ready to be dual-fuel methanol converted in the future, ensuring that Ørsted can always meet their needs, both today and long into the future," said Brad Johnson, Vice President and General Manager of Caterpillar Marine.

The ECO EDISON’s special-purpose design is focused on passenger safety and comfort, enhanced maneuverability, extended offshore endurance and reduced emissions. It includes special features like a “walk to work” motion-compensated gangway that allows technicians to easily and safely access the wind turbines. A smaller, so-called “daughter” craft onboard can be deployed to efficiently maneuver crew across the wind farms.

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