U.S. celebrates launch of first American-built offshore wind service vessel

In a landmark achievement for the U.S. offshore wind energy sector, the nation witnessed the christening of the ECO EDISON, the first-ever offshore wind service operations vessel (SOV) constructed in America, owned by Americans, and operated by an American crew. This vessel is set to play a pivotal role in fostering domestic energy production and fortifying the nation’s energy independence.

The momentous occasion was celebrated in Louisiana, where U.S. House Majority Leader Steve Scalise and Congressman Troy A. Carter, Sr. joined top executives from Ørsted, the American offshore wind leader, and Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO), the Louisiana-based vessel builder. The festivities marked the completion of the SOV, a testament to the significant financial investments in U.S. ports, maritime activities, manufacturing, workforce, and domestic energy.

The ECO EDISON was officially named on Saturday at the Port of New Orleans by Jennifer Scalise, making it the first U.S.-flagged offshore wind SOV. The vessel is integral to the operation and maintenance of Ørsted and Eversource’s South Fork Wind, Revolution Wind, and Sunrise Wind projects.

Constructed by over 600 workers across nearly 1 million work hours at ECO’s shipyards in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida, the ECO EDISON sources components from 34 states, showcasing Ørsted’s dedication to nurturing a new domestic offshore energy supply chain.

The Gulf of Mexico region, with its extensive experience in ocean-based industries, is central to the burgeoning U.S. offshore wind supply chain. Companies like ECO are leveraging their offshore energy expertise to contribute to this emerging energy sector.

The state-of-the-art, 262-foot long ECO EDISON will serve as a floating, year-round base for 60 pioneering American offshore wind turbine technicians. These technicians will maintain and service the wind turbines throughout the lifespan of the wind farms.

David Hardy, Group EVP and CEO Americas at Ørsted, highlighted the Gulf Coast’s significant role in the growing U.S. offshore wind supply chain and Ørsted’s substantial investments in the United States. He expressed gratitude to Edison Chouest for constructing the first American-made service operations vessel and to the political leaders for their participation in the vessel’s inauguration.

Gary Chouest, President of Edison Chouest Offshore, expressed pride in delivering a U.S.-first vessel that will support offshore wind energy for the foreseeable future, in partnership with Ørsted.

The ECO EDISON will be powered by two Cat® 3512E engines supplied by Houston-based Caterpillar Marine, emphasizing the opportunities offshore wind presents to American manufacturers and shipyards. Brad Johnson, Vice President and General Manager of Caterpillar Marine, affirmed their commitment to supporting customers’ ambitious goals and providing durable, future-ready power solutions.

Designed with a focus on passenger safety and comfort, the ECO EDISON boasts enhanced maneuverability, extended offshore endurance, and reduced emissions. Notable features include a “walk to work” motion-compensated gangway for safe technician access to wind turbines and a deployable “daughter” craft for efficient crew movement across the wind farms. This vessel represents a significant stride in advancing American energy and showcases the potential of the offshore wind industry in the United States.

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