Construction is underway to build a hybrid vessel fleet designed to support the UK’s growing offshore wind market.

Cutting ceremonies have taken place for North Star Renewables’ first service operation vessel (SOV) and what will be the world’s first hybrid powered daughter craft for the offshore wind market. Both vessels are bound for Dogger Bank Wind Farm, off the east coast of Yorkshire, England.

Hybrid daughter craft ceremony

Hybrid daughter craft ceremony

Alicat director Simon Coote with North Star’s SOV daughter craft operations manager, Peter Mantripp. Photo: North Star

North Star CEO, Matthew Gordon, said: “This is just the start of our journey in renewables. Not only do we have the capital in place we also have the experience and capabilities within our organisation to deliver and operate numerous offshore wind vessel fleets simultaneously. It’s our overarching objective we have planned to secure at least 15 renewable fleet contracts within the next five years; and our business is ready to do so.”

Six wind farm vessels

Comprising three of its service operation vessels (SOVs) and three associated daughter crafts, all six North Star assets are bound for the first two phases of the Dogger Bank Wind Farm.

The SOV steel cutting ceremony was carried out by North Star’s shipbuilding partner VARD in Vietnam. The SOV is one of two sister 5,000t vessels being built to accommodate up to 40 technicians working on the wind farm’s offshore wind turbines at its first two phases, Dogger Bank A and Dogger Bank B. A third 6,000t SOV will also be delivered to the development’s partners SSE Renewables (40%), Equinor (40%) and Eni (20%). The trio of vessels are chartered for 10-year terms with additional one-year options.

An aluminium-cutting ceremony also took place at Alicat’s shipyard in Great Yarmouth (UK) for the hybrid powered daughter craft. Designed by Southampton-based naval architects Chartwell Marine in collaboration with North Star, the craft will be used to safely transfer technicians from the SOVs to work on the wind turbines benefitting from Chartwell’s unique AFS bow fender and other stability technology. The craft will also be on emergency rescue support standby.