Charybdis offshore wind turbine vessel successfully launched to sea

Published on April 17, 2024 by Chris Galford

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Dominion Energy recently achieved a major milestone for the advancement of its offshore wind turbine construction, thanks to the successful launch from land to water of the first Jones Act-compliant offshore wind turbine installation vessel in the United States.

Launched from the Seatrium AmFELS shipyard in Brownsville, Texas, the successful debut of the 472-foot vessel means there will be no change to either the vessel’s or the current Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) construction timeline. The launch followed welding of the ship’s hull and the commissioning of its four legs and related jacking system.

“Charybdis is vital not only to CVOW but also to the growth of the offshore wind industry along the U.S. East Coast and is key to the continued development of a domestic supply chain by providing a homegrown solution for the installation of offshore wind turbines,” Bob Blue, Dominion Energy’s chair, president and CEO, said.

The vessel was made with more than 14,000 tons of domestic steel, with nearly 10,000 tons of that sourced from Alabama, West Virginia, and North Carolina suppliers. For Dominion’s purposes, it should be able to handle turbine sizes of 12 MW or higher. When it launched, it also set a record for the world’s largest completed lift, totaling 23,000 tons.

Once complete, the home port for the vessel will be set at Hampton Roads.

In addition to the vessel’s success, the CVOW project itself received a final construction air permit from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), marking its 11th and last federal permit needed to begin offshore construction. As a result, offshore monopile installation will begin in May 2024.