Massachusetts’ Baker-Polito administration and Vineyard Wind have announced a lease agreement to use the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal as the primary staging and deployment location for Vineyard Wind’s offshore development.
In May, an 800 MW offshore wind farm proposed by Vineyard Wind, a joint venture of Avangrid Renewables and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, was selected as the winning bid under Massachusetts’ 83C offshore wind solicitation.
Constructed and operated by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal is a 29-acre heavy-lift facility designed to support the construction, assembly and deployment of offshore wind projects, as well as handle bulk, break-bulk, container and large specialty marine cargo. The new agreement between MassCEC and Vineyard Wind represents a commitment to an 18-month lease at $6 million annually.
“By signing this lease agreement with Vineyard Wind, we have achieved another major milestone to secure long-term jobs and economic growth for the people of Massachusetts,” says Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito. “Establishing an offshore wind supply chain in Massachusetts is critical to our mission to strengthen our economy while reducing greenhouse-gas emissions.”
In April, MassCEC released a report on the workforce needs and economic impact of the emerging offshore wind industry. It found that the deployment of 1,600 MW of offshore wind is estimated to support 6,870-9,850 job years over the next 10 years and generate a total economic impact in Massachusetts of $1.4 billion-$2.1 billion.
“The New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal provides Massachusetts with an important piece of infrastructure that will be critical in helping the offshore wind industry to establish operations in this new American marketplace,” says Stephen Pike, CEO of MassCEC.
“Today’s announcement not only cements Vineyard Wind’s commitment to stage the nation’s first industrial-scale offshore wind project from the Port of New Bedford, but it reinforces New Bedford’s leadership position in offshore wind energy,” adds New Bedford’s mayor, Jon Mitchell.
The final acceptance of Vineyard Wind’s offshore wind project contract requires regulatory approval of the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, anticipated to be completed in early 2019. The project also requires permitting approval from state and federal agencies, including the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.