Bay State Wind opens downtown New Bedford office


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.

Offshore Wind Power is No Fish Tale

From the National Wildlife Federation

There are many reasons to support responsibly developed offshore wind power. It is a clean energy source that is good for wildlife; it is affordable, reliable and available right near areas of concentrated energy demand like New York City and Boston; and, it can create tens of thousands of good-paying jobs. But, there is one benefit that advocates are just starting to recognize – the foundations that offshore wind turbine stand on are creating hotbeds for recreational saltwater anglers.

The nearly 4,000 offshore wind turbines operating worldwide (only five of which are in the U.S.) offer ample evidence. Numerous studies from Europe, where the offshore wind industry has been booming for years, have demonstrated that the pilings that support the turbines attract a variety of benthic organisms – that is worms, clams, crabs, lobsters sponges and other small organisms.

In the case of Block Island, Rhode Island, the site of America’s first and only offshore wind turbines, a recent trip of National Wildlife Federation board members, partners and representatives from our state-based affiliates across the Northeast found the turbines attracted likely thousands of black bass, and a handful of scup. Within minutes of reaching the turbines, our crew was into fish. At one point, fishing with three rods with two baited hooks a piece, we had a total of five black bass hooked – and this kind of action continued all morning until our arms were tired. Rich Hittinger, a Vice President for the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association and our host for the day, said he had also caught or heard reports of summer flounder, tautog and cod in the area throughout the summer.

Deepwater Wind, the developer of the Block Island turbines, worked with local anglers to identify potential conflicts. Local captains were invited to England to hear from fishermen how their wind farms had improved or changed their fishing. Continuing to listen to local anglers will be incredibly important as we develop this resource. Block Island is home to five turbines totaling 30 megawatts in power.. With commitments from states like Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, and Maryland to develop thousands of megawatts of offshore wind power, there is a significant opportunity to create more fish habitat, but it must be done responsibly.

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US could see 3GW of offshore wind power by 2017

From reNEWS

Offshore wind is chomping at the bit in the US, with states jockeying to capture manufacturing jobs while developers are chasing leases and offtake deals, delegates heard at the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) Offshore Windpower conference in New York City this week.

“You can feel the urgency to harness this new ocean energy resource coming from states and businesses competing to be first movers,” AWEA chief executive Tom Kiernan told the conference.

The megawatts on offer are starting to add up, with offshore wind “poised to take off like a rocket in the US”, Innogy US offshore lead Chris Wissemann told reNEWS.

Maryland recently awarded 370MW, while Massachusetts issued a call for 800MW. New York will unveil details of a 2.4GW drive this year and in two weeks there will be an election in New Jersey, where the front-runner for governor is calling for 3.5GW.

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Wind energy project off LI to be called Empire Wind

From Newsday

The developer is Norwegian, but the name of the first wind-energy array off Long Island’s South Shore will be distinctly New York: Empire Wind.

Officials from developer Statoil are in New York this week to attend a wind-industry event in Manhattan and on Tuesday will announce the name of the project. Empire Wind was chosen, they say, to reflect the location.

Statoil, which is two-thirds owned by the Norwegian government, won the bidding to develop 79,000 acres of ocean off Long Island through a federal auction in December 2016. Statoil’s bid was $42.5 million, besting New York State, the second-final bidder.

Geijerstam indicated that Statoil has ambitions beyond the Empire Wind project. New York State this month identified more than 1 million acres of offshore waters for future wind arrays for at least four additional wind farms beyond the Statoil project. “It’s fair to say Statoil has the northeast of the U.S. as a priority area and we’ll be looking at ways to increase our efforts and engagements in this area,” he said.

For Empire Wind, the tentative plan is to erect 80 to 100 turbines 14 miles south of Long Beach and extending south-eastward. The project would produce up to 1,000 megawatts of energy, enough to power hundreds of thousands of homes, but Geijerstam noted production will be based on contracts the company negotiates with the state or power companies.

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Momentum seen for US offshore wind

From RTO Insider

WASHINGTON — Even as the Trump administration has rejected the Paris Agreement and works to boost coal-fired generation, optimism has been building on the East Coast for the offshore wind industry.

President Thomas Brostrøm credited state renewable portfolio standards and carbon reduction goals for creating demand. And he said the shallow waters off the East Coast provide attractive sites like those in Europe.

DONG, the No. 1 offshore wind generator in the world, clearly sees renewables as the future. On Oct. 30, it will ask shareholders to approve changing its name — originally an abbreviation for Danish Oil and Natural Gas — to reflect its commitment to renewable power. It completed the divestiture of its upstream oil and gas business in September. The new name, Ørsted, honors Danish scientist Hans Christian Ørsted, who is credited with discovering electromagnetism in 1820.

The company, which operates more than 1,000 offshore wind turbines in Europe, acquired the rights to develop more than 1,000 MW off New Jersey and is working on a pilot project with Dominion Energy off Virginia. (See Dominion Plans 12-MW Offshore Wind Project, 2nd in US.) It also has formed a joint venture with Eversource Energy to bid on Massachusetts’ solicitation for 1,600 MW of offshore wind.

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Deepwater Wind pledges to use Port of New Bedford


NEW BEDFORD — Deepwater Wind announced Friday that it would establish long-term operations in New Bedford for one of its proposed offshore wind projects, Revolution Wind, if the project wins a state contract.

At a press conference on the New Bedford waterfront, Matthew Morrissey, a Deepwater vice president, said the company would also base installation out of the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal. He called the announcement “a milestone moment for our company.”

More than a year ago, three entities competing for offshore wind contracts in Massachusetts signed a letter of intent committing to use the terminal. Deepwater Wind was one of them, but at the time, it had not proposed Revolution Wind, its second Massachusetts bid.

Revolution Wind is not part of the three-way competition for a state offshore wind contract for at least 400 megawatts of energy generation. The project is smaller, at 144 megawatts, and is competing in a separate bidding process with renewable energy projects such as hydropower, land-based wind, and solar.

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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.

Delaware Wants In on the US Offshore Wind Market

From GreenTech Media

Delaware is ready to rejoin the U.S. offshore wind race.

On August 28, Governor John Carney signed an executive order establishing an Offshore Wind Working Group. The working group is to submit a report to the governor by December 15 with “recommendations on short- and long-term strategies for developing wind power to serve Delaware, and plans to develop job opportunities in the offshore wind industry.”

The group was also tasked with drafting any necessary legislation, including possible amendments to Delaware’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards Act, which requires utilities to procure 25 percent of their load from renewable resources by 2025.

At the end of September, Gov. Carney announced appointments to the working group. The group is chaired by Bruce Burcat, head of the Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Coalition and former executive director of the Delaware Public Service Commission.

A renewed push for offshore wind in Delaware

This is not Delaware’s first foray into offshore wind. As far back as June 2008, Bluewater Wind Delaware, LLC signed a power-purchase agreement (PPA) with Delmarva Power to deliver electricity from an offshore wind farm as large as 600 megawatts in the Delaware lease area.

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Offshore wind setting sail in North America

By Lance Marram, CEO
Senvion North America
For Windpower Engineering and Development

We are slowly beginning to consider harnessing the wind off of our coasts in North America by developing more offshore wind-power projects. To date, a small five-turbine wind farm and a handful of pilot projects have been developed in the U.S. The industry has been focused on setting standards, developing regulations, and auctioning offshore waters for potential development. While, in Europe, the offshore wind sector continues to grow and is successfully working on measures to reduce costs.

The industry standard for offshore turbines is a nominal capacity of 5 to 6 MW. In the near future, 10+ MW turbines are expected. While the United Kingdom, Denmark, and Germany are leading in offshore wind power, the U.S. is learning from such frontrunners. Most experts agree that in North America, the potential for offshore wind power means one thing: huge economic opportunities.

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