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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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.

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Developers Plan Wind Farms Off Jersey as Christie Era Ends

From Bloomberg

After years of being sidelined by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, wind farm developers are dusting off plans for massive offshore turbines that may someday generate more electricity than a nuclear reactor.

Christie, a Republican whose term ends in January, effectively blocked wind farms off his state’s coast by never fully implementing a program that would subsidize the projects. Both of the leading candidates to replace him have pledged support for the industry, opening the door for developers to push toward construction.

The move presents a potentially rich market for offshore wind. New Jersey is the most densely populated U.S. state, and its power prices are among the highest in the nation. It’s also geographically positioned midway between offshore wind development sites in New England and the Southeast, making the state a potential hub for ferrying supplies to build projects in other states.

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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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New Bedford makes its pitch to impress, attract Amazon


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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New Bedford asks $15m for North Terminal


NEW BEDFORD — With a green light from the EPA, the city is poised to win a $15 million federal TIGER grant to at last begin bulkhead construction and dredging at the harbor’s under-used North Terminal, to expand its uses and take some off the pressure off of the rest of the harbor, which is straining at capacity.

Port Director Edward Anthes-Washburn told The Standard-Times that a TIGER grant — which stands for Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery — ought to be winnable this year now that uncertainties about environmental permitting have been eliminated in an official EPA ruling. The grant application last year was denied because of those unresolved concerns about the permitting. He said that the EPA notified the city only a week and a half ago that the project is officially permitted, dredging and bulkhead included.

That EPA judgment opened the door of opportunity for this year’s application for a project that will have far-reaching implications for the fishing industry and freight — possibly including both international shipping and freight service to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. The latter was a serious bone of contention several years ago, and never fully resolved. Truck traffic congestion is unabated on Woods Hole Road, where for years some residents have sought relief in the form of diverting freight to New Bedford to ease the pressure on Cape Cod.

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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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