“New Bedford is going to be the epicenter for offshore wind in Massachusetts,” said Thomas Brostrom of Bay State Wind and its parent company, DONG Energy (which is being re-named Orsted). “It has been teed up for a long time” he told a group of about three dozen elected officials, education and business leaders, and representatives from local community groups who attended Thursday’s opening.
Bay State Wind is a partnership between the international renewable energy leader DONG Energy of Denmark and Eversource, New England’s largest utility, which is also transitioning from fossil fuels to green energy sources.
Brostrom said Bay State Wind will contribute $25,000 to the New Bedford Wind Energy Center, which is leading the city’s efforts to promote the growth of the offshore wind industry and associated economic development within the Port of New Bedford. Brostrom said Bay State Wind looks forward to being a permanent part of New Bedford and its success.
Eversource Vice President Ken Bowes joined Brostrom in making the announcement at the new offices at 628 Pleasant St., across from City Hall.
“I think we picked a great partner,” he said.
New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell said he wants New Bedford to serve as the hub of the offshore wind industry as it does to commercial fishing. The Port of New Bedford is the national leader not only in the value of the seafood landed there, but also in the marine services that support commercial fishing. Mitchell acknowledged that as the industry expands, other port cities will also gain.
However, he said, “we want to be the first among equals.”
Bay State Wind joins Deepwater Wind and Vineyard Wind with offices in the city. Bids to develop the first project in a decade-long, 1,600MW initiative are expected to be awarded in the spring.
Paul Vigeant, managing director of the New Bedford Wind Energy Center, thanked state Reps. Tony Cabral and Paul Schmid, who attended the opening ceremonies, for their aid in making Massachusetts a national leader in the new industry. But, he said, there are 10GW of electrical power potential just off the Massachusetts coast and he challenged the Legislature to help the industry build 3,000 MW by 2030.