Crowley and Esbjerg, Denmark-headquartered Esvagt are to jointly build and operate a service operations vessel (SOV) under a long-term charter with Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy.
Crowley will manage and crew the SOV to support Siemens Gamesa’s service operations on the Dominion Energy Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project. Esvagt will support Crowley with design, construction, crew training and operation services as part of the two companies’ joint venture, CREST Wind, created in 2021 to deliver the best of both worlds: combining European designs and operating practices with the safety and operational expertise of a premier U.S. vessel operator.
The 289-foot vessel will feature state-of-the-art technologies to augment safety, workability and comfort to support the O&M activities of the wind farm project. It will have modern accommodations for 80 crew and technicians. Consistent with federal law, the vessel, which is set to enter service in 2026, will be U.S. built.
“This vessel marks another significant milestone in our overarching, combined capabilities to help develop, construct and serve the U.S. offshore wind market and America’s clean, renewable energy needs,” said Bob Karl, senior vice president and general manager, Crowley Wind Services. “We appreciate Siemens Gamesa’s trust in our capabilities, and we look forward to continuing our work to develop state-of-the-art, purpose-built vessels to meet sustainable energy demands in the U.S.”
“This first contract in the U.S. is a landmark event for Esvagt in our quest to help drive the green transition as a global leader of SOV services,” said Esvagt’s chief strategy and commercial officer Soren Karas of Esvagt. “We are excited to bring our decades of offshore wind experience to bear in a new market through our CREST JV with the premier Jones Act operator, Crowley. Together, we can offer an unparalleled solution to the wind industry and are delighted that Siemens Gamesa have recognized this.”
Dominion Energy plans to install 176 14.7 MW Siemens Gamesa wind turbines and three offshore substations at the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind site, generating enough renewable energy to power up to 660,000 homes. It would avoid 5 million tons per year of carbon emissions compared with fossil fuel usage for power.
“This is an important step in the development of a skilled offshore workforce in America,” said David Hickey, CEO, service Americas, for Siemens Gamesa. “This charter will enable us to provide top-tier service for the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project with a U.S.-built vessel.”
The SOV advances Crowley’s full spectrum of solutions for offshore wind. The company is developing offshore wind terminals in California and Massachusetts. Crowley also offers feedering vessels, supply chain management solutions and workforce development programming built on more than 130 years of marine solutions.
Servicing an offshore wind farm is demanding labor handled by a highly specialized team of service technicians who are often offshore for weeks. During their stay offshore, the technicians live on a service operation vessel (SOV), which also hosts an on-board workshop and much of the equipment and spare parts needed to service an offshore wind farm.
Length overall: 88.0 meters (288.7 feet)
Breadth: 17.6 meters (57.7 feet)
Maximum draft: 6.2 meters (20.3 feet)
Accommodations: 80 personnel
The state-of-the-art SOV will incorporate the newest technologies with a highly trained crew aided by digital tools that leverage their efficiency, safety and productivity. The SOV is designed for comfort and high workability, providing a highly efficient workspace and safe transfer of technicians at the wind farm via a motion-compensated gangway and transfer boats. It will also offer recreational activities for the onboard crew and technicians, including fitness facilities, a game room, a cinema and individual accommodations.