Crew transfer vessels will be able to operate in either battery electric mode, or with assistance from diesel fuel
Ørsted has placed an order for two of the UK's first hybrid crew transfer boats, in a move that will see vessels powered by both batteries and diesel used to maintain and operate the world's largest offshore wind farm that is currently being developed off the coast of Yorkshire.
The company announced today that electric powertrain specialist Danfoss Editron and shipbuilder MHO-Co have been contracted to build the hybrid crew transfer vessels (CTVs), which will ferry up to 24 technicians or other personnel to and from the 1.2GW Hornsea Two wind power project around 55 miles off the English coast.
Danfoss Editron claims the CTVs will be the first two of their kind in the UK. Capable of operating in either fully-electric or hybrid mode, the vessels are expected to save approximately 127 tonnes of CO2 compared to traditional diesel-powered crew boats, it estimates.
"This project, the UK's first hybrid CTVs and some of the first anywhere in the world, will open the market for more hybrid CTVs," said Danfoss Editron's marine director Erno Tenhunen. "Previously, the size of electric motors and components were too big for CTVs. Our compact and lightweight technology has overcome this issue however and solved the challenge faced by vessel designers, shipyards and end customers."
The two vessels are due to be delivered to Ørsted during the second quarter of 2021, around a year before the second phase of its Hornsea wind farm is expected to begin generating electricity.
MHO-Co CEO Mik Henriksen said the electric-hybrid vessels were a "natural fit" for the offshore wind and renewable energy industry. "In fact, these new CTVs make it possible to eliminate the discharge of particles when idling," he added. "We've already seen that this is something that the industry is taking notice of."
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