Dominion Energy celebrates milestone moment for Jones Act jack-up

In: VesselsWindfarms
17/12/2020

Dominion Energy has reached a major milestone – the keel laying – in the construction of its Jones Act compliant offshore wind turbine installation vessel, currently being constructed by the global marine shipbuilding firm Keppel AmFELS at its Brownsville, Texas shipyard.


Dominion Energy expects the vessel to be utilised in support of the installation of over 5 GW of planned offshore wind generation off the East Coast of the U.S. through 2027 and beyond. The vessel is being built on the Gulf Coast and is expected to create nearly 700 direct construction jobs. Once complete, the vessel will be based out of Hampton Roads, Virginia with a U.S. crew.


"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 utilise 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 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 MW or larger and will also be capable of the installation of foundations for turbines and other heavy lifts.

The overall project cost, inclusive of construction and commissioning and excluding financing costs, is estimated to be around $500 million. Financing for the vessel has been arranged through a lease financing agreement with leading global banks. Construction and financing costs will not impact Dominion Energy Virginia's customers' bills.  
Once constructed, the vessel will be available for charter hire, including by Dominion Energy Virginia, subject to the approval of the Virginia State Corporation Commission, in connection with the installation of its Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind commercial project.


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.


Dominion Energy contracted with Keppel AmFELS, a wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd, for the engineering, procurement and construction of the offshore wind turbine installation vessel. The vessel is designed by GustoMSC, a business unit within NOV.


Seajacks will assist Dominion Energy with construction and operations oversight. Dominion Energy expects the vessel to operate continuously for several years through contracts with offshore wind projects in the U.S.


The Jones Act is a federal law that regulates maritime commerce in the U.S. and requires goods shipped between U.S. ports to be transported on ships that are built, owned and operated by U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
Offshore wind generation is a vital part of Dominion Energy's comprehensive clean energy strategy to meet standards outlined in the Virginia Clean Economy Act and to achieve the company's net zero carbon dioxide and methane emissions commitment by 2050.


Dominion Energy's two turbine, 12-MW Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) pilot project, located 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach, was recently energised and put into operations while awaiting the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's (BOEM) final technical review. Ocean surveys and geotechnical work are also underway for the 2,640-megawatt full scale CVOW commercial project, which will be located in a lease area adjacent to the pilot project. These surveys will support the development of the project's Construction and Operations Plan to be submitted to BOEM this month.




For more information on installation and maintenance of major offshore wind farm components, click here.

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