NEW BEDFORD — Offshore wind developer Vineyard Wind has signed a charter deal for a crew transfer vessel with Patriot Offshore Maritime Services of New Bedford.
Patriot will build the vessel in Somerset at Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, an established shipyard with more than 65 years of experience in the construction of high speed, aluminum crafts.
The CTV will originally be based in New Bedford and other Massachusetts ports during construction and in Vineyard Haven during the operation and management phase of the nation's first large-scale, offshore wind project 15 miles south of Martha's Vineyard.
The 27-meter CTV will be based on a proven catamaran design by Incat Crowther and will be capable of carrying up to 24 technicians and personnel.
"We are excited to have a Massachusetts company like Patriot on the Vineyard team and proud to support local jobs in Massachusetts through the employment of local maritime labor," Vineyard Wind CEO Klaus Skoust Moeller said in a news release. "These vessels will not only serve a critical role in both construction and operation and maintenance for our project but will also help to launch a new industry that will create jobs and reduce carbon pollution."
Vineyard Wind is a joint venture between Avangrid Renewables, a subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc., and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners.
According to the news release, Vineyard Wind's selection of the Patriot and Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding team will optimize the local content benefits of the Vineyard Wind project to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
"We are honored that Vineyard selected Patriot to provide this CTV for its first U.S. commercial offshore wind project," Patriot President Michael Landry said in the release. "We are looking forward to a long and fruitful relationship."
Upon delivery in mid-2023, the CTV will aid construction efforts and transport essential personnel and equipment in support of the project. Vineyard also has the option to charter additional CTVs from Patriot as part of a marine logistic strategy.
In addition to the Patriot vessel, Vineyard Wind has also signed a contract with American Offshore Services for a second CTV that will be built by Blount Boats in Rhode Island. The U.S. flagged CTVs will be manned and operated by locally sourced maritime union labor during the construction phase.
"The development of offshore wind in the U.S. is creating jobs and new business opportunities for maritime companies like Patriot, and we're proud to work with local labor to build the nation-leading Vineyard Wind project," Bill White, president and CEO of Avangrid Renewables, said in the release. "Drawing from skilled and experienced maritime services in Massachusetts is a win-win for our project and local workers, and represents another important step in this growing American industry."
The 800-megawatt project will generate electricity for more than 400,000 homes and businesses in Massachusetts, create the equivalent of 3,600 jobs and save customers $1.4 billion over the first 20 years of operation.
It is expected to reduce carbon emissions by more than 1.6 million metric tons per year, the equivalent of taking 325,000 cars off the road annually, and will begin delivering clean energy to Massachusetts in 2023.
Standard-Times staff writer Kathryn Gallerani can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter: @kgallreporter. Support local journalism by purchasing a digital or print subscription to The Standard-Times today.