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Somerset's Gladding-Hearn has a deal to build a crew transport ship for Mayflower Wind

  • Oct 15, 2021
Herald News

SOMERSET - Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding/Duclos Corp. has signed an agreement to build a new environmentally friendly ship for offshore wind company Mayflower Wind.

According to a statement from Mayflower Wind, Gladding-Hearn will build a crew transfer vessel with a hybrid battery and diesel engine. Crew transfer vessels are ships used to bring workers from the mainland to the wind turbines and electrical substations offshore for daily operations and maintenance.

How Fall River could become a player in a developing green industry in the region

The deal will go forward if Mayflower is awarded a contract under the latest Massachusetts procurement for offshore wind.

Mayflower Wind proposes to build a wind farm in over 123,000 acres of federal waters on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf, about 30 miles south of Martha's Vineyard, 20 miles south of Nantucket. The offshore wind farm is expected to generate about 2,000 megawatts of electricity, according to information from the Mayflower Wind website. It expects the turbines to be spinning and generating power by the middle of this decade.

Building the boat

The ship Gladding-Hearn is expected to build will have lithium-ion battery energy storage, making for a more fuel-efficient, lower-emissions hybrid engine. The ship's design will be a collaboration with other companies worldwide, including Incat Crowther, BAR Technologies, Corvus Energy and ABS.

The ship's design would take place during 2022-23, with building and launching the vessel in the mid-2020s, around the time when Mayflower Wind is expected to be starting operations.

"Mayflower Wind aims to develop the most innovative, fuel-efficient CTV built in the United States," said Michael Brown, CEO of Mayflower Wind. "Ensuring that this vessel is constructed at a shipyard in Somerset is a big boost to the Massachusetts maritime economy and launches this shipyard toward a new and growing market."

In its 66-year history, Gladding-Hearn has constructed more than 430 vessels including those used for ferry service in New York, Boston Harbor and to Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket and Block Island. Gladding-Hearn is also the nation's leading builder of offshore pilot boats, which transfer harbor pilots to and from ships in extreme conditions.

Mayflower Wind plans a connection point at Brayton Point

The benefits to Somerset

Peter Duclos, president of Gladding-Hearn, said the crew transfer vessel project could create new jobs at his company over the next two to three years. "We are excited about the possibility of working with Mayflower Wind," he said. "They want to raise the bar of CTV design and have assembled an experienced team to do just that."

U.S. Rep. Jake Auchincloss said the agreement "will build local prosperity in Somerset while helping to reach our national climate protection and clean energy goals."

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"This is exactly the kind of tangible, real and local economic development that the legislature was shooting for when we enacted the law creating the market for offshore wind power here in Massachusetts," said state Rep. Patricia Haddad, D-Somerset. "Not only will this project provide vital work for a critical local business, it will position Gladding-Hearn to successfully compete for future jobs by establishing them as a technology leader."

Mayflower Wind has already entered into an agreement to connect its electricity to the regional grid at Brayton Point, not far from Gladding-Hearn. The company also proposes to build an operations and maintenance port at the Borden and Remington Complex on Fall River's waterfront, just south of the Braga Bridge on the Taunton River.

Dan Medeiros can be reached at

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