Windpower Ship Being Built In Louisiana’s Oil Region
In Louisiana’s bayou region, where oil rig supply ships are as common as shrimp boats, a huge new seagoing ship is under construction – signalling the growing presence of offshore wind power in the energy landscape.
The Eco Edison, being built in Terrebonne Parish by Louisiana shipbuilding company Edison Chouest Offshore, will be 260 feet long and designed explicitly for Orsted and Eversource. It will serve as floating accommodation for wind technicians and as a storehouse for their gear when maintaining turbines offshore in the Northeast.
Officials from the three companies gathered aboard to celebrate its creation and the role offshore oil has to play in developing offshore wind energy.
On Monday, project expert Daryl Owen pointed out how this vessel differs from oil-industry supply vessels. “That’s all open cargo deck space,” he said, gesturing to a nearby boat. “That won’t happen on this one – it has much more housing for workers.”
He also steered attention to the speciality tanks below decks for wind technicians’ use rather than oil workers’, saying that “the wind guys aren’t interested in any of that.”
The vessel comes near US President Joe Biden’s plans to power 30 gigatonnes of American homes with offshore wind energy by 2030.
Despite this determination and Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards’ Shell-funded project with New Orleans’ Gulf Wind Technology to produce turbine components in the Gulf, obstacles remain – including low local winds – before turbines can appear at sea.
However, these developers are investing hundreds of millions into building specialized vessels on the Gulf Coast, creating high-paying jobs.
The Eco Edison is expected to be completed next year and transported to Port Jefferson, New York. It will support three planned projects: South Fork Wind, Revolution Wind, and Sunrise Wind – 1.7 gigawatts of power combined to provide electricity for over a million homes when operational.
Reference: AP News, Offshore Wind