Offshore Wind Company Vineyard Wind Begins Construction
Vineyard Wind hosted a tour on Monday at the Marine Commerce Terminal in New Bedford to show members of the media and the local business leaders of One SouthCoast Chamber the early construction of the Vineyard Wind 1 Project, the first offshore commercial-scale offshore wind project in the United States.
The Vineyard Wind 1 project aims to construct an 800-megawatt, 62-turbine wind farm south of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. The project is expected to be completed and delivering power by the end of the year.
Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey made a recent appearance at the Marine Commerce Terminal to announce additional state investment in clean energy projects like offshore wind and announce a target date of April 17 for the components of the wind turbines will arrive at the terminal.
Prior tho the components arrival, however, Vineyard Wind has began constructing a series of cranes on site, each one bigger than the last, so that they are able to lift the components of the turbines. The crane construction is what was on display at the tour of the terminal.
Offshore wind has been touted by the elected officials at the local state and federal level from New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell to U.S. President Joe Biden as a promising new American industry that will not only create economic opportunity but help combat the seemingly intractable climate crisis.
Elected leaders representing New Bedford, like Mitchell, Congressman Bill Keating, and Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey have said that the central role the city is playing in the birth of offshore wind in America harkens back to when the city saw extraordinary wealth and opportunity as the whaling capital of the world in the 19th century.
Vineyard Wind CEO Klaus Moeller said that New Bedford's available port space and geography made it an optimal location to be the launchpad for the project.
"New Bedford is ideal for us because it actually has this piece of land available," Moeller told reporters. "So it actually had a place that fit well for offshore wind construction."
"But it also has the right distance to our wind farm so obviously you don't want to sail forever and ever to get to the wind farm so that's a good feature as well," he said.
Moeller then went on to explain that the Marine Commerce Terminal was a sheltered area where construction would see little interruptions by other port activities.
Beyond the technical reasons for why he thought New Bedford was an attractive location to begin the ambitious clean energy project, Moeller also said the company was encouraged by the support from state and municipal government leaders and the ability to build out a robust labor force in the region.
"It's very important for Vineyard Wind to create local growth," Moeller said. "There's also a good group of talent here that can develop into the workforce here for offshore wind."