How does New Bedford benefit from the offshore wind industry?
Opportunities for New Bedford Today
While many of the benefits from the development of the offshore wind industry will be felt by New Bedford workers, businesses and families over the coming decades, the city will experience significant benefits over the next three to five years:
- Direct and indirect job creation from the construction of the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal
- Direct and indirect job creation from the assembly and deployment of commercial offshore wind projects from the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal
- Increased local economic activity and business growth from commercial offshore wind projects, with induced economic opportunities ranging from supply chain participation from local companies, to local companies providing housing and catering services for project employees
- Increased funding for economic development, workforce development and land-use planning activities that drive future growth for the city
Building the Foundation for New Bedford’s Future
The offshore wind industry presents an opportunity for New Bedford to launch a new national growth industry in America by:
- Building a consistent pipeline of multi-billion dollar offshore wind projects by positioning New Bedford as the American port with the infrastructure, expertise and experience to construct and deploy offshore wind projects
- Creating the conditions for offshore wind component manufacturing to occur in New Bedford, a development that would result in hundreds of millions of dollars of investments and the creation of hundreds of new, good paying jobs
- Connecting local businesses to the global offshore wind supply chain, creating local economic growth and spurring new local job creation
Reclaiming New Bedford’s role as a National Energy Leader
Once again, New Bedford is positioned to be a leader in harvesting energy from the seas to light the shores of the nation. New Bedford will reap numerous benefits by reclaiming this historic title:
- Enhancing New Bedford’s national image and boosting efforts to attract and retain businesses, investments and residents
- Promoting the city as a leader in innovation and clean energy, to complement New Bedford’s status as the #1 commericial fishing port in America
- Positioning the city to compete for numerous grant and funding opportunities as a national green energy hub and innovation center
How will offshore wind complement New Bedford’s commercial fishing industry?
The #1 commercial fishing port in America will continue to thrive alongside the development of the offshore wind industry in New Bedford. Not only can these two industries co-exist, but there is great potential for cooperative growth. We seek to use the development of the offshore wind industry as a tool to attract additional infrastructure funding and investments to the Port of New Bedford which will benefit all activities – specifically our critically important commercial fishing industry.
New Bedford is deeply committed to the commercial fishing industry, and we will continue to aggressively support the industry in the years ahead. During the early planning stages for offshore wind development sites, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management worked to secure the best areas for wind development that did not disturb any fisheries or transport lanes. In this initial discussion, New Bedford worked closely with fishermen and the state to report on the needs of the commercial fishing industry – leading to a 66 percent reduction in the BOEM leasing area. Input from the fishing industry was crucial throughout this process and this level of collaboration will continue on future developments.
What is the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal?
The New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal, made possible by a $100 million investment from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the first terminal built to support the assembly and deployment of offshore wind projects in America. Due to the tremendous weight of wind turbine components, this terminal has been engineered to rival the strongest port facilities in the world. Constructed by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, this unique terminal gives the Port of New Bedford the specialized infrastructure necessary to assemble and deploy offshore wind farms.
The Terminal at a Glance:
- Approximately 28 acres of assembly and lay-down area
- 1,000 feet of new bulkhead built to sustain loads of 4,100 pounds per square foot
- Deep dredge draft to 32 feet in front of bulkhead
- Construction cleaned up approximately 250,000 cubic yards of low-level contaminated sediment and created environmental & habitat restoration areas
Why is Massachusetts the ideal location for offshore wind development?
Offshore wind has a strong potential for development in New England, where electricity demand is high and growing, and available land for onshore energy development is limited due to dense populations.
Strong winds and optimal sea floor conditions make the waters off the Massachusetts coast the ideal location for offshore wind farms. New Bedford’s close proximity to federally leased offshore wind development sites, protected deep-water harbor, and first-in-the-nation offshore wind terminal makes the city the ideal location to launch this new green energy industry in Massachusetts and America.
What is the lifespan of a wind turbine?
Wind turbines can carry on generating electricity for 20-25 years after installment. Over their lifetime, they will be running continuously for as much as 120,000 hours. To put this durability in perspective, the average lifetime of a car engine is 4,000 to 6,000 hours.
How does offshore wind benefit the environment?
Unlike fossil-fuel energy generators, offshore wind farms produce no greenhouse gas emissions during their operation. In addition, by adding new clean energy to the grid, offshore wind can help displace the dirtiest and most harmful sources of energy production.
During its lifetime, a wind turbine delivers up to 80 times more energy than is used in its production, maintenance and scrapping. Wind energy has the lowest lifecycle emissions of all energy production technologies.
For an example of how offshore wind benefits the environment, we can look at a typical commercial-sized offshore wind project. Using the methodology Massachusetts State agencies use to estimate air pollution reductions from wind farms, a 750MW wind farm would reduce air pollutants that harm our health by over a thousand tons per year. In addition, a wind farm of this size would also reduce about 734,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions in New England – helping our region significantly reduce the emissions that are causing climate change.
Why was the New Bedford Wind Energy Center founded within the NBEDC?
The New Bedford Wind Energy Center provides the management capacity for the New Bedford Economic Development Council to work with over 50 partners across the region’s public, private and non-profit sectors; areas that were traditionally seen as separate functions are now interconnected through the lenses of offshore wind. By serving as the axis point among all stakeholders, the New Bedford Wind Energy Center provides a framework for partners to see the growth of offshore wind as a community endeavor, with the maximum amount of regional stakeholders participating and benefiting
Do you have any questions?
Email Paul Vigeant, Managing Director of the New Bedford Wind Energy Center