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.

Read more

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.

Corporates are queuing for green power not coal

Just as the cost of subsidizing clean energy such as offshore wind is plunging to levels that make it cost-competitive with old energy, the US is proposing to subsidize coal by the back door.

US energy secretary Rick Perry has asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the independent body that regulates wholesale electricity markets in the US, to adopt an anti-market plan to subsidize the coal industry, just as developers of offshore wind have begun talking to large corporates about selling them green electricity, rather than sell it on the wholesale market, a concept that, ironically, was pioneered in the US.

Secretary Perry has asked FERC to draw up plans to make payments to power plants that have 90 days of fuel on site – in an attempt to boost ailing coal industry in the US – just as the concept of Power Purchase Agreements (PAAs) takes off in Europe.

Until recently, developers of offshore windfarms have relied on subsidies, but as the cost of offshore wind has fallen steeply, it has become, to quote Professor Dieter Helm, author of the UK’s recent report on the cost of energy, one of the ‘new conventionals.’ Offshore wind is now cost-competitive with other forms of energy. Large corporates want green power, and PPAs provide energy-intensive industries with an opportunity to buy into multi-year supply contracts.

Read more

Offshore Wind Giant Vestas Aims to Catapult U.S. Into Global Renewables Leadership

From Triple Pundit

South Carolina seems an unlikely spot for the global offshore wind industry to gain a showcase foothold in the U.S. After all, the state is among several Atlantic coast states that have been dragging their feet on offshore wind development. However, South Carolina’s Clemson University happens to be the home of a self-described state of the art wind turbine test bed, and Vestas has just announced that its V164-9.5 MW offshore wind turbine will get a test run there.

Despite its long coastlines, the US has been lagging behind other nations when it comes to offshore wind development. However, the sleeping giant is beginning to awake, and Vestas is already claiming that its turbine will nail down the business for major U.S. offshore wind development projects to come.

The new Vestas wind announcement is a big one. It’s not just a one-off run through the test bed. The company is devoting $35 million to the test program overall, with up to $23 million going to Clemson over a five-year period.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

Scotland’s New Floating Offshore Wind Turbines Power 20,000 Homes

From TruthDig

The BBC reports that five massive floating wind turbines off the coast of Aberdeenshire in Scotland have gone operational. They generate enough electricity to power 20,000 homes. This “Hywind” project was built by the Norwegian firm Statoil.

It is an exciting development, since a lot of high-wind areas are offshore and being able to install turbines out there will permit us to capture that energy. There is also sometimes some public opposition to onshore turbines (though it appears to be ungrounded), and putting them 10 or 15 miles out from the coast would avoid such pushback.

In the first six months of 2017, wind supplied 57% of Scottish electricity. Electricity generation from wind is up 13% from the same period in 2016.

And, in some months, wind powered the entire country. In June of this year, wind generated 113% of Scottish electricity use, which means they exported some electricity and in principle for that month did not need any natural gas. Reliably, over half of Scottish electricity comes from renewables. That figure in the United States is 10%.

Read more

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.

Read more

Five sites in Fall River, Somerset ID’d for offshore wind development

From State House News Service

State officials looking to maximize the return on port investments in New Bedford and elsewhere on Tuesday released a report detailing 18 sites of interest for offshore wind energy developers and 320 businesses that could shape a supply chain.

Six sites on the list are in New Bedford, along with five in the Fall River/Somerset area and seven in the Boston/Quincy. The sites include the Revere Cooper and Eversource Energy/Sprague Oil sites in New Bedford, the Boston Autoport and East Boston Shipyard, and the Quirk Auto parcel at the former Quincy Shipyard in Braintree/Quincy.

The Fall River/Somerset area sites include Brayton Point Power Plant and Montaup Power Plant in Somerset and the Weaver’s Cove Energy Site, Fall River State Pier and Borden & Remington Complex in Fall River.

Read more

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.

Read more