PROVIDENCE, RI (WLNE) – Ørsted and Eversource are creating jobs in Rhode Island, partnering with Rhode Island Shipyards to build Crew Transfer Vessels (CTVs) to support their Northeast Wind Farms.
Ørsted and Eversource have chartered five new CTVs from Windserve Marine and American Offshore Services (AOS). Windserve Marine’s subsidiary, Senesco Marine, in Quonset Point, will build three of the vessels, and AOS has partnered alongside Blount Boats & Shipyard, of Warren, to build two more vessels. This charter will create 80 local construction jobs, as well as 48 more for the captains and crew of each ship. Regional suppliers will supply components, such as electronics, motors, cranes, aluminum and safety equipment.
“Rhode Island continues to be a national leader in clean energy innovation,” said Governor of Rhode Island, Dan McKee. “We are proud that these companies have chosen our shipyards for this major partnership that will bring jobs to the Ocean State. With our blue economy ecosystem, which positions us to support the entire offshore wind supply chain, and substantial investments proposed to increase the capacity of offshore wind developers, we are on track to solidify Rhode Island in as the East Coast hub of offshore wind development.
“Rhode Island knows offshore wind and we are proud to provide even more jobs for Ocean State maritime trades to build these new crew vessels,” noted David Hardy, CEO of Ørsted Offshore North America. “Our continued commitment to Rhode Island shipbuilders, along with our selection of premier regional vessel operators, is just the latest example of our work to build a national supply chain to support the wind industry. growing offshore.”
“Rhode Island has a long history of leadership in ocean industries and has established one of the most innovative and expansive blue economies in the country,” said Joe Nolan, CEO and President of Eversource Energy. “This partnership between two outstanding local shipbuilders and two major ship operators will be critical to the construction and operation of our North East wind farm portfolio. Offshore wind is a growing industry with huge potential to create jobs and grow the national supply chain, and with today’s news, we’re proud to once again help transform this promise into a new reality.
“This is another good news for Rhode Island’s blue economy and maritime industry and will mean more work in local shipyards,” said US Senator Jack Reedwho led efforts to restore funding for the federal Small Shipyards Program after several years of expiration, and helped local shipyards secure federal grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Marine Administration.
“The first state to put steel in the water, Rhode Island is becoming a hub for the growing offshore wind industry,” said US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a longtime champion of the Rhode Island maritime trades industry. “Strategic federal investments in Quonset and our local marine trades have helped attract these jobs to the Ocean State and will continue to pay off as offshore wind grows.”
“With Rhode Island’s blue economy continuing to grow, and as we transition from our reliance on gas and oil to clean energy and wind, we will continue to see more of these investments and jobs,” said we Representative David N. Cicilline. “With the infusion of infrastructure investment from the bipartisan infrastructure bill, we can continue to grow our ports and pave the way for Rhode Island’s future.”
“Rhode Island’s blue economy is an engine of growth for our entire state, which is why I’m so proud to be at the forefront of this cutting-edge green technology that will power the region,” said US Representative Jim Langevin. “I am delighted that our reputation and investment in the offshore wind sector has brought new, well-paying jobs to Quonset Point and East Bay.”
“This announcement is a testament to Rhode Island’s well-established national leadership in shipbuilding, offshore wind, maritime trades and the blue economy as a whole,” said Rhode Island Commerce Executive Vice President of Business Development Hilary Fagan. “The U.S. offshore wind industry was born in Rhode Island, and as the industry rapidly expands in the Northeast and across the country, we are proud that our ports, shipyards, businesses, and skilled workforce premises will continue to serve as the center of its supply chain.”
These vessels are designed to handle the unique conditions of the wind farms, which will be located 15 miles off the southern coast of New England, and to safely transport technicians and materials to and from the wind farms and local ports.
Construction is expected to begin early this year at Senesco on the 88ft WindServe vessels and at Blount Boats on the 101ft AOS vessels. All five vessels will be built over the next two years, capable of providing crew transfer support during the construction phases of the three northeast joint venture Ørsted and Eversource projects. The first ship will be completed in early 2023.
“The AOS newbuild program for Ørsted and Eversource will bring more than 40 skilled jobs to Rhode Island shipyards,” said David Kristensson, owner of Northern Offshore Servicesco-owner of AOS. “In addition, this partnership will give dozens of American Merchant Seamen the opportunity to embark on an exciting new career path, throughout the Northeast. We are excited to bring the first purpose-built hybrid CTVs to the US market for Ørsted and Eversource and stand ready to deliver on our promise to bring maximum economic benefits to local suppliers.
“Blount Boats has become a leader in the CTV space having built two of the three US-flagged CTVs currently in service,” said Marcia Blount, President of Blount Boats, Inc.. “Blount looks forward to significantly increasing its highly skilled workforce while maintaining its reputation for quality construction when building these hybrid CTVs, the first vessels in the AOS fleet.
“WindServe Marine is excited to continue its CTV build program at Senesco Marine to meet our long-term commitments to create local jobs and provide high-quality vessel operations for the U.S. offshore wind industry,” said Josh Diedrich – Managing Director, WindServe Marine. “We look forward to expanding our partnership with Ørsted, Eversource and industry stakeholders to ensure the success of offshore wind projects in the United States.”
“Senesco Marine is proud to continue its partnership with WindServe Marine to build innovative and efficient CTVs for Ørsted and Eversource,” said Ted Williams, President, Senesco Marine. “Capable of builds of all sizes, CTVs are one of many types of vessels that Senesco Marine builds to the highest quality and safety standards. Senesco will begin local construction in the northeast of three CTVs at the start from 2022 to support the expansion of the offshore wind industry on the east coast.