United States – Maersk Supply Service has been awarded a contract by Empire Offshore Wind, a joint venture between Equinor and bp, for the charter of its newbuild wind installation vessel (WIV).
This vessel, along with US-built barges and tugs built and operated by Kirby Offshore Wind, will be used to install the Vestas V236-15MW turbines for the project.
The newbuild vessel is expected to be ready for Empire Wind I and II operations in the mid-2020s. The vessel concept was developed by Maersk and will deliver wind turbine installation via a Jones Act compliant spread.
Energy transition goals
Empire Wind 1 and 2, which are part of Equinor’s portfolio of offshore wind projects off the east coast of the United States, are critical building blocks for the company’s goal of installing 12-16 GW of renewables capacity by 2030.
The wind turbine components will be transported from the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal to the Empire Wind lease area, which is located 15-30 miles southeast of Long Island, New York, by two newbuilt tugs and barges. Kirby Offshore Wind, a Kirby Corporation subsidiary, will build and operate the barges and tugs. The concept allows the ship to stay in service while the barges transport turbine components from the staging port on a continuous basis.
Empire Wind 1 and 2 will provide electricity to more than 1 million homes in New York once they are completed. The project will play a significant role in achieving the United States’ and New York State’s energy transition goals.