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.

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.

Read more

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.

Lawmakers Debate How To Attract More Renewable Energy In Mass.

From BBC World Service

Massachusetts lawmakers are debating whether to increase the amount utility companies pay of their annual electricity sales from renewable sources to the state.

Massachusetts and 29 other states, including the entire Northeast, have a policy on Renewable Portfolio Standards. RPSs are a way for the clean energy market to gauge state interest and support for renewable energy development.

Massachusetts’ RPS is 11 percent, and is expected to increase 1 percent a year – reaching 25 percent by 2030.

Renewable energy proponents, like Williamstown Selectwoman Anne O’Connor, say that’s not high enough.

“It’s is pretty clear that the 1 percent increase was good in the beginning but now we are slowly sliding behind other states with it, which means that this type of renewable energy project with end up being built somewhere else rather than in Massachusetts,” O’Connor says. “Our goal is really to get to 50 percent by 2030.”

Read more

Massachusetts again most energy-efficient state

From the National Law Review

For the seventh consecutive year, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) named Massachusetts the most energy-efficient state in the United States.

The council’s 11th annual report, released last month in the wake of recent extreme weather events, highlighted the importance of energy-efficiency as a tool to help communities recover from storms and economic shocks. While many states, such as Idaho, Florida, and Virginia made vast improvements over last year, Massachusetts continued to pave the way for sustainability through continued leadership in energy-efficient transportation policies and utility-sector energy efficiency programs.

Read more

There’s enough wind energy over the oceans to power human civilization, scientists say

From the Washington Post

New research published on Monday finds there is so much wind energy potential over oceans that it could theoretically be used to generate “civilization scale power” — assuming, that is, that we are willing to cover enormous stretches of the sea with turbines, and can come up with ways to install and maintain them in often extreme ocean environments.

It’s very unlikely that we would ever build out open ocean turbines on anything like that scale — indeed, doing so could even alter the planet’s climate, the research finds. But the more modest message is that wind energy over the open oceans has large potential — reinforcing the idea that floating wind farms, over very deep waters, could be the next major step for wind energy technology.

“I would look at this as kind of a greenlight for that industry from a geophysical point of view,” said Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Stanford, Calif. The study, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was led by Carnegie researcher Anna Possner, who worked in collaboration with Caldeira.

The study takes, as its outset, prior research that has found that there’s probably an upper limit to the amount of energy that can be generated by a wind farm that’s located on land. The limit arises both because natural and human structures on land create friction that slows down the wind speed, but also because each individual wind turbine extracts some of the energy of the wind and transforms it into power that we can use — leaving less wind energy for other turbines to collect.

Read more

Studies: No impacts on tourism from Maryland offshore wind

From the American Wind Energy Association’s blog

Earlier this year, Maryland greenlit two offshore wind projects that would establish the state as a clear leader of this new ocean energy resource.

Since then, some observers have expressed concern that the wind farms could impact tourism in Ocean City, where the turbines would be slightly visible from the shore.

But a new study and survey show no cause for concern.

The Goucher Poll recently asked 671 Marylanders if views of the turbines would change their feelings about vacationing in Ocean City. Their findings: 75 percent of respondents said the sight would make no difference, while 12 percent answered the turbines would make them more likely to visit.

Read more

Offshore wind industry in US with a dozen projects slated

From the New Bedford Wind Energy Center

State and federal officials meet in New Bedford Oct. 4 to discuss developments in offshore wind.

From Cape Cod to Cape Hatteras, the offshore wind industry is taking shape along the East Coast.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has leased 12 projects (soon to be 13) covering 1.4 acres of ocean for a total of $68 million. The sites are capable of producing 16,000MW of electrical power.
Massachusetts is expected to award the first contract for developing a wind farm off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard by spring of 2018.
Studies of the effect of offshore wind farms on bird and bat migration and marine mammals are continuing.

The update was provided during a meeting on wind and renewable energy development before the New England Fisheries Management Council in New Bedford.

Dong Energy changes name to Orsted, moves away from oil and gas, goes big on renewables


Danish energy powerhouse Dong Energy is to change its name to Orsted, it has been announced.

“Dong was originally short for Danish Oil and Natural Gas,” Thomas Thune Andersen, chairman of the board of directors, said in a statement Monday. “With our profound strategic transformation and the divestment of our upstream oil and gas business, this is no longer who we are. Therefore, now is the right time to change our name.”

The past 10 years has seen Dong Energy move away from coal and oil and embrace renewable energy. As well as divesting its upstream oil and gas business, the company has made the decision to halt all use of coal. Carbon emissions have been cut by 52 percent since 2006. By 2023, carbon emissions will have been slashed by 96 percent when compared to 2006, the firm said.

CEO Henrik Poulsen said Monday that Orsted was now dedicated to green energy. “Our focus going forward will be on green growth based on our existing business platforms in offshore wind, biomass, green customer solutions and advanced waste-to-energy solutions,” he said.

Read more