First U.S.-Built offshore wind service operations vessel christened

The first American-built, owned, and crewed offshore wind service operations vessel (SOV) was christened over the weekend, marking a major milestone for the nation’s offshore wind energy supply chain.

The U.S.-flagged offshore wind SOV Eco Edison was officially christened on Saturday at the Port of New Orleans by Jennifer Scalise, wife of U.S. House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (LA-01).

The event was also attended by U.S. House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (LA-01) and U.S. Congressman Troy A. Carter, Sr. (LA-02), and senior executives from American offshore wind leader Ørsted and Louisiana-based vessel builder Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO).

The vessel Eco Edison will play an integral part of the operation and maintenance of Ørsted and Eversource’s South Fork Wind, Revolution Wind and Sunrise Wind projects.

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.

The 262-foot long liveaboard vessel 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 Eco Edison will be powered by two Cat® 3512E engines from key supplier, Houston-based Caterpillar Marine.

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.

David Hardy, Group EVP and CEO Americas at Ørsted, said that 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.