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Bay State Wind opens downtown New Bedford office

From SouthCoastToday.com

NEW BEDFORD — Bay State Wind officially cut the ribbon on a downtown office Thursday, joining two others in a show of confidence that New Bedford will become the hub of the wind energy business in Massachusetts.

Bay State Wind is a partnership with the Danish energy firm Ørsted, formerly Danish Oil and Natural Gas, or DONG, and Eversource. The office is at 628 Pleasant St.

Ørsted North American president, Thomas Brostrom, said that the company has gone out of the oil and gas business and is now 100 percent clean energy.

They will now enter the competition for a state-guaranteed market for 2,000 megawatts of wind power to be delivered to Massachusetts customers. The others are Vineyard Wind and Deepwater Wind, which also have offices in the city.

Bay State Wind officials announced that the firm is making a $25,000 gift to the New Bedford Wind Energy Center. That brought applause from the about 30 attendees, politicians, business leaders and wind energy players.

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Bay State Wind opens doors in New Bedford

Thomas Brostrom of DONG Energy, left, and Ken Bowes, right, of Eversource join New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell at Thursday’s opening of Bay State Wind’s offices across from City Hall.

NEW BEDFORD — Bay State Wind, one of three developers competing to build the first industrial-scale offshore wind farm off the Massachusetts coast, has opened offices on Pleasant Street.

“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.

Vineyard Wind Bolsters Team with Offshore Wind Industry Leaders

From BusinessWire

NEW BEDFORD –Vineyard Wind, an offshore wind energy developer vying to build the first utility-scale project off the coast of Massachusetts, is transitioning its organization to prepare for the construction phase of its project, naming longtime offshore wind industry expert Lars Thaaning Pedersen as its new CEO and Iain Henderson as its CFO.

“As we grow our team in Massachusetts, we have assembled some of the best people in the offshore wind industry to advance our effort”

Erich Stephens, who has led development of the project since 2014, will become Vineyard Wind’s Chief Development Officer, and will continue his work focusing on the pre-construction development of the project.

The executive team additions were part of a long-planned evolution by project owners Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) and Avangrid Renewables aimed at bolstering the team with industry experts with a long track record of successfully constructing and operating projects in Europe.

“As we grow our team in Massachusetts, we have assembled some of the best people in the offshore wind industry to advance our effort,” said Pedersen. “With Erich’s unrivalled experience developing offshore wind in the US, leading the Vineyard Wind project from its inception, and the addition of Iain to our team, we believe we will be able to soon deliver the best possible offshore wind project for Massachusetts. We’re looking forward to building the offshore wind industry here in New England and I am excited to be a part of the team.

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New Bedford makes its pitch to impress, attract Amazon

From SouthCoastToday.com

NEW BEDFORD — Calling New Bedford “a city unlike any other” with its proud past and bright future, officials submitted a 40-page proposal to Amazon, as the e-commerce giant seeks a location to construct a second world headquarters.

While the state included New Bedford as one of 26 Massachusetts communities in its formal proposal to Amazon, the city also independently submitted its pitch to build the headquarters on property at the municipal golf course on Hathaway Road.

The prize is huge: a million square foot facility and 50,000 well-paying jobs — enough to transform the economy of wherever Amazon decides to place it.

“New Bedford’s come a long way in the last few years,” said Mayor Jon Mitchell. “And we’ve reached a point where we can — with a straight face — make this kind of pitch to the likes of Amazon. It’s not to say we’re the odds on favorite, but we can make a play for this with credibility.”

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Revolution Wind project would be based in New Bedford

The Port of New Bedford would be the hub for a 24-turbine, 144-MW offshore wind project if Deepwater Wind wins a state bid early next year to supply renewable energy to Massachusetts utilities, the company announced Friday.

Deepwater Wind Vice President Matt Morrissey announced plans for the company’s Revolution Wind project during a press conference near the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal, which he said would be both the construction and operations hub for the project. Revolution Wind would provide enough power to supply more than 70,000 homes.

The bid will be submitted in response to a 2016 bill enacted to require public utilities to purchase power produced from renewable energy sources, including offshore wind.

Morrissey said that Revolution Wind would create 700 construction jobs and 60 permanent jobs to maintain and operate the wind farm, which would be built about 30 miles south of New Bedford in federal waters. It would create an economic impact of $200-$250 million, he said.

Morrissey said Deepwater Wind would pay Massachusetts $5.5 million annually during the one- to two-year construction phase to use the Marine Commerce Terminal, which was built by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center at cost of $113 million. It is the only terminal in the nation built specifically to accommodate the great size and weight of offshore wind turbine components.

Deepwater Wind also will pay New Bedford $500,000 annually for harbor services and other related costs during construction.

Morrissey said Deepwater Wind also wants to help build a regional supply chain to help lower the cost of building offshore wind farms and the power they produce, noting that costs have fallen sharply in Europe over the past two years.

“This is a milestone moment,” he said. “It is just the beginning” as New England begins to replace aging, costly fossil fuel and nuclear power plants.

Morrissey credited New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell for providing the leadership and vision to help launch the new industry.

Mitchell noted that 25 percent of the nation’s harvestable wind resource is located along the region’s coastline and that offshore wind will bring jobs and economic growth to the city “10, 20 and 50 years from now.”

Mitchell said New Bedford has “the best seafaring workforce in the country — bar none” — a key advantage for New Bedford as competition emerges in other port cities along the East Coast.

Deepwater Wind built the nation’s first offshore wind farm — five turbines producing 30MW — on Block Island and has a lease to build another project off Long Island.

Deepwater Wind is one of three developers hoping to build the first industrial scale wind farm off the Massachusetts coast in waters leased to them by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management off Martha’s Vineyard. The other lease-holders are Bay State Wind, a subsidiary of DONG Energy (soon to be renamed Orsted), and Vineyard Wind.

Deepwater Wind’s Massachusetts Vice President Matt Morrissey announced the company’s intention to stage its Revolution Wind offshore wind project in the Port of New Bedford. With him, from left, are Port Director Ed Anthes-Washburn, Mayor Jon Mitchell and New Bedford City Councilor and Workforce Investment Board Director Jim Oliveira.

New Bedford, US’ most valuable fishing port, wants to get bigger

From UnderCurrent News

Ed Anthes-Washburn wants to make what is already the United States’ most valuable commercial fishing port even larger.

For the second consecutive year the director of the Port of New Bedford, Massachusetts, has submitted an application for a grant from the US Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program to add 600-feet of bulkhead and dredge areas that are now unusable at only three- to four-feet deep.

The changes, which would increase depths in those areas to 18- to 30-feet, would grow the number of berthing areas, allowing the port to expand from about 300 fishing vessels to more than 360. It would invite fishing companies that currently operate outside of New Bedford to make it their new base of operation or to simply offload there, and harvesters already using the port could overcome some frustrations and even grow their fleets, Anthes-Washburn told Undercurrent News.

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Offshore wind means boom times — and jobs — for England

From The Boston Globe

Jon Beresford worked in the British coal industry for 23 years, his last job coming 12 years ago as a technical engineer at a power station. By then, his awareness of coal’s impact on pollution and climate change made him take a chance on the fledging UK offshore wind industry.

Today, he is plant manager for the 73-turbine, 219-megawatt Humber Gateway offshore wind farm, run by the energy company E.ON. The wind farm can power 155,000 homes. “When I left coal, people laughed at me,” Beresford said. “I was the only one doing what I was doing. Those coal plants were running 24/7. They said, ‘Wind will never replace coal.’

“Now, I got people who left the coal industry asking me about jobs. Most of my team of engineers came from oil and gas. It was kind of depressing what happened to them but at least they had transferable skills in maintaining power and the field is a lot more exciting.”

The excitement here for offshore wind is unbridled. The Humber estuary region, anchored by the east coast cities of Hull and Grimsby, already has 240 turbines in its waters, with construction and planning underway for another 400. Last month, its projects passed the 1 gigawatt mark of power, on its way to a 3.5 gigawatts.

That offered a blueprint to a New Bedford delegation that visited here this spring as Massachusetts utilities solicit bids for up to the first 800 megawatts of the state’s mandate for 1.6 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2027. With hopes of becoming America’s first offshore wind business hub, New Bedford’s mayor and several civic, business, labor, and education leaders wanted to see how the Humber is reviving itself with wind.

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Check out America’s first offshore wind installation vessel

From SouthCoastToday.com

A Texas company is building the nation’s first offshore wind-turbine installation vessel and designing it to fit through the New Bedford hurricane barrier. Today, we break down what it means to the industry.

What it is

Houston-based engineering company Zentech is converting an existing jack-up vessel to install offshore wind turbines. Jack-up barges have three or four legs that raise the vessel out of the ocean and create a stable platform for working. The oil and gas industry uses them routinely, but this will be the first U.S.-flagged ship capable of installing wind turbines. The company expects it to be ready by the end of 2018.

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Bay State Wind hires community relations representative

From SouthCoastToday.com

NEW BEDFORD — Offshore wind developer DONG Energy has hired Craig Dutra, former president of the Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts, to pitch the company’s project to the local community and gather feedback.

The proposal, called Bay State Wind, is a joint venture between DONG Energy and the power company Eversource.

Dutra said he will work as a community liaison to New Bedford residents and groups, meeting with organizations like the SouthCoast Chamber of Commerce and Rotary Club to provide information about Bay State Wind and offshore wind in general.

“We believe that offshore wind has a great future in New Bedford,” he said in an interview.

Dutra has been looking at office space in the city for a future DONG office, he said. Right now, he works out of a home office and spends one day a week in Boston.

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Chamber president: Make New Bedford offshore wind hub

From The Standard-Times

Up and down the eastern seaboard, states are competing to attract new investments in offshore wind. Rhode Island is home to the first offshore wind farm in the country. Maryland recently approved two offshore projects. Other states, from Maine to the Carolinas, are competing to be the center of the nation’s new offshore wind industry, which has the potential to generate approximately $680 million in annual property tax payments, as well as support approximately 160,000 jobs by 2050, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Energy and Department of the Interior.

Gov. Charlie Baker’s signing of 2016′s “Act to Promote Energy Diversity” ushered Massachusetts into the age of offshore wind. The act committed the state to purchasing 1,600 megawatts of offshore wind power over the next 10 years. This is enough to electrify more than 750,000 Massachusetts homes.

This is a commendable effort to kick start this new industry in Massachusetts, but there is more that can be done. In recent years, many of our neighboring states have adopted policies showing a stronger commitment to renewables than Massachusetts. Last year, Rhode Island expanded and extended its commitment to get 38.5 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2035. Under the Bay State’s current commitment, only 30 percent of its power will come from renewable sources by 2035.

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