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Design begins on world’s first retrofit electric crew transfer vessel

31/1/2024

CGI rendering of vessel at sea amongst wind turbines Photo: Tidal Transit
CGI rendering of the electric crew transfer vessel being developed for the offshore wind sector by Tidal Transit

Photo: Tidal Transit

Work has begun on the design and engineering phase of a project to deliver the what is claimed will be the world’s first retrofit 100% electric powered crew transfer vessel (E-CTV) for the offshore wind industry.

The £8mn initiative being undertaken by Tidal Transit has secured £6.3mn funding from the UK’s Zero Emissions Vessel and Infrastructure (ZEVI) competition,  as part of Innovate UK and the Department of Transport’s strategic plan to develop, deploy and operate clean maritime solutions. Just 10 flagship UK projects were chosen to split more than £80mn in funding.

 

Over the next 15 months, Tidal Transit will retrofit a diesel-powered Mercurio vessel, the Ginny Louise, with over 2 MWh of battery capacity, electric motors and propulsion pods. The finished vessel, e-Ginny, will not only be 100% zero emissions in operation, but also boast increased manoeuvrability while being near-silent for passengers and passers-by, says Tidal Transit.

 

The project will expand vessel charging infrastructure by installing both an onshore charging station from Artemis Technologies, and an offshore wind turbine based-charger from MJR Power & Automation to allow for direct E-CTV charging on location, greatly increasing the time and range that electric vessels can stay in operation without returning to port.  

 

Offshore charging feasibility study

Meanwhile, Stillstrom has unveiled a new collaboration with an EnBw BP joint venture to assess the operational, technical and economic viability of integrating offshore charging solutions for service operation vessels (SOVs) and crew transfer vessels (CTVs) into the Mona and Morgan wind farms located offshore in the Irish Sea.

 

Due to start commercial operation in 2029, Morgan and Mona will have a combined potential generating capacity of 3 GW, capable of providing enough electricity for around three million UK homes each year.

 

Richard Haydock, Programme Director, UK Offshore Wind, BP, comments: ‘Innovative charging solutions can play an important role in both the electrification and decarbonisation of offshore wind farm vessel operation. We look forward to seeing how these innovative solutions could help our projects deliver secure, low-carbon energy to the UK and support the UK’s ambition to be net zero by 2050.’