In a first, this electric SOV is charged by offshore wind turbines

A Dutch shipbuilder has officially launched what it says is the world’s first electric service operations vessel (SOV) that can charge offshore.

Damen Shipyards Group debuted the SOV 7017 Electric today at the Offshore Energy Exhibition & Conference 2023 in Amsterdam. At a length of 70 meters (230 feet) and a width of 17 meters (56 feet), the company says it’s the largest fully electric offshore wind SOV for maintenance. It features 60 cabins for crew and 40 technicians, storage, and workshops.

The SOV 7017 is offered with two lithium iron phosphate battery system options: 15 MWh for fully electric operations or 10 MWh for 75% electric operations. If the vessel can’t access electricity, it has diesel propulsion for emergency backup.

However, Damen’s plans to negate the need for fossil fuel for the SOV 7017 are firmly in place.

This SOV can hook into an offshore wind turbine to charge up. The entire system uses “pre-existing offshore infrastructure,” meaning no redesign or additions to the offshore wind farm components are needed. Damen partnered with the UK’s marine electrical engineering firm MJR Power & Automation to develop a 4 MW charger connector and a motion-compensated gangway system that connects the vessel to wind turbines.

Charging occurs while the vessel is in a low-power, “green” DP mode. The SOV7017 charges up in just a few hours using a single turbine. And like all EVs, scrapping the use of diesel is where the long-term cost savings come in with the SOV 7017.

Paul Cairns, managing director at MJR, said, “Charging from an offshore asset represents optimal practicality, providing a means to reduce costs and emissions and optimize efficiency without placing personnel nor infrastructure in a potentially hazardous situation.” 

Damen, a global company with a presence in 120 countries, is ready to go commercial and actively seeking collaboration with wind developers and vessel operators.

Read more: China’s Goldwind installed a 16 MW offshore wind turbine in just 24 hours

Photo: Damen Shipyards Group

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