Offshore Wind Companies Commit to Base Operations Out of New Bedford
Three offshore wind power companies have committed to using New Bedford as a base of operations as Massachusetts continues to push forward in the development of the industry.
DONG Energy, Deepwater Wind and OffshoreMV all signed Letters of Intent with the Baker-Polito Administration to lease the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal Tuesday following an announcement of the agreements at the New Bedford Whaling Museum.
The Letters of Intent with the developers each represent a two-year lease at $5.7 million annually to use the terminal as a staging and deployment location for future wind projects off the shores of Martha's Vineyard.
Governor Charlie Baker said he believes the Bay State will become a prime example of offshore wind utilization in the nation.
"We have an opportunity to do something very significant and very important, not just for the Southcoast but for the Commonwealth and for New England, and I believe establish a benchmark for how offshore wind can be done and be done effectively in the United States," said Baker.
Baker recently signed energy legislation that requires utilities to competitively solicit and contract for approximately 1,600 megawatts of offshore wind and 1,200 megawatts of other clean energy.
Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton said the new developments will spark progress locally within the offshore industry.
"I am confident that with our great partners in New Bedford and the entire Southcoast delegation and region that we are going to make Massachusetts be the hub of offshore wind development," Beaton said.
As the offshore market begins to grow in North America, officials acknowledge competition is not far behind. New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell said the city is willing to compete with other municipalities to reap the benefits of the emerging power industry.
"We need to outsmart them, we need to out-hustle them, we need to make it happen," Mitchell said. "New Bedford will compete hard because we owe it to our citizens, we owe it to our citizens' children and their unborn grandchildren."
According to Thomas Brostrom, General Manager of North America, DONG Energy Wind Power (U.S.) Inc., said although the work is still in its earliest stages, he expects "a wind farm up and spinning in the early 2020's, that's probably the most realistic time line here."
The New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal, a 26-acre facility designed to support the construction, assembly and deployment of offshore wind projects, is operated by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center.