The U.S. offshore wind market is growing and will need a fleet of Jones Act compliant vessels. Ulstein Design & Solutions holds an Approval in Principle (AIP) for its proven Service Operation Vessel (SOV) design, the ULSTEIN SX195, from ABS - the American Bureau of Shipping.
Norway-based Ulstein Group is a leading designer and innovator in vessels for the offshore wind market. Installation vessels, subsea rock installation vessels and numerous service vessels have been designed, delivered or are currently under construction for the European and South East Asian markets.
The ULSTEIN SX195 design has been proven through several newbuilds currently operating in European waters. The design has been made ready for SOV activities in the US offshore wind industry, complying with the Jones Act and meeting the US Coast Guard requirements.
While operating in-field at the offshore wind farms, owners of the existing fleets report that they choose to operate their service vessels stern first, due to the logistics of the service work. In such modes, a traditional, transom stern will cause slamming in head seas. Ulstein launched its patented X-STERN® solution for the offshore wind market in 2015, and this innovation was soon after implemented in several of the newbuild orders. The X-STERN eliminates the slamming and wave-induced vibrations and leads to uninterrupted rest for the service personnel.
The SOVs are being used in the Operation & Maintenance phase of the wind farms, serving as an accommodation vessel for technicians and as a means of transferring tools and parts to the offshore wind turbines.
GLDD contract for the U.S. market
Ulstein recently announced a design contract with Great Lakes Dredge & Dock for the first U.S. flagged Jones Act compliant, inclined fallpipe vessel for subsea rock installation. The vessel is critical in building the future of the U.S. offshore wind industry, including establishing a U.S. based rock supply chain network.