BOSTON – The Baker-Polito Administration today announced the signing of lease agreements with Vineyard Wind and Mayflower Wind to utilize the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal as the primary staging and deployment base for the construction and installation of their offshore wind projects located in federal waters south of Martha’s Vineyard. These lease agreements commit the facility to full-time offshore wind work from 2023 into 2027 and are worth more than $32.5 million.
“These lease agreements with Vineyard Wind and Mayflower Wind are another major milestone for offshore wind in Massachusetts,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “With this announcement, the Commonwealth continues its national leadership on clean energy and ensures Massachusetts workers will benefit from the jobs and economic opportunities provided by this new industry.”
“We are pleased the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal will support the completion of these important projects that will provide clean, affordable energy to Commonwealth ratepayers,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “With commitments for use of the Terminal into 2027, New Bedford, the greater South Coast region, and the Commonwealth will see new local jobs and economic growth from this growing clean energy industry.”
Through competitive procurement processes, Vineyard Wind and Mayflower Wind were selected in May 2018 and October 2019, respectively, to provide a total of 1,600 megawatts of cost-effective renewable offshore wind power to Massachusetts. Together the two projects represent major steps in meeting the state’s greenhouse gas emission reduction mandates and growing the Commonwealth’s clean energy economy.
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 first port in North America specifically purpose-built to support the staging and installation of offshore wind components, the terminal has been engineered to sustain mobile crane and storage loads that rival the highest capacity ports in the world.
“The Baker-Polito Administration has committed Massachusetts to an ambitious net zero emissions target to combat climate change, and offshore wind will be an essential part of meeting that goal,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. “The New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal will help Vineyard Wind and Mayflower Wind bring more than 1,600 MW of clean, renewable energy to power our homes and businesses and will engage Massachusetts workers and companies to pioneer this industry in the United States.”
According to a 2018 assessment conducted for MassCEC on the workforce needs and economic impact of the emerging offshore wind industry, the deployment of 1,600 MW of offshore wind is estimated to support between 2,000 to 3,000 of direct job years over next 10 years and generate a total economic impact in Massachusetts of between $1.4 billion to $2.1 billion. Offshore wind is one of MassCEC’s four core focus areas, with ongoing efforts to advance the industry by working to reduce project risk, increase market confidence, and support the economic development opportunities, including training a local and regional workforce and supporting the growth of a mature supply chain of suppliers and service providers.
“The New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal represents a critical piece of port infrastructure for Massachusetts and the region that will be essential to building the offshore wind projects for our energy future,” said MassCEC CEO Stephen Pike. “MassCEC is pleased to welcome both Vineyard Wind and Mayflower Wind to utilize this one-of-a-kind facility as we establish and grow the offshore wind industry operations in this new American marketplace.”
The Vineyard Wind lease with MassCEC is an amended and revised agreement to accommodate a shift in the project schedule stemming from additional review and permitting required by the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. The new lease agreement between Mayflower Wind and MassCEC is based on an option to lease the Terminal executed in August 2019. Both leases contain limited provisions for shared use during limited time periods at the beginning and end of the lease period to provide flexibility in project schedules.
“Vineyard Wind is already proud to call New Bedford home, and with the signing of this lease agreement, we mark yet another step forward in bringing our first project to fruition,” said Vineyard Wind CEO Lars T. Pedersen. “Once construction begins, the Marine Commerce Terminal will become the birthplace of an entirely new industry, with jobs and opportunities for local residents that simply don’t exist today. We’re fortunate to have such great partners both locally in the City and Port of New Bedford and in the Baker-Polito Administration. We look forward to being a growing part of the community.”
“Mayflower Wind would like to thank the Commonwealth and City of New Bedford for their leadership and vision in establishing the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal,” said Michael Brown, President and CEO, Mayflower Wind. “We look forward to creating thousands of good-paying jobs during the construction and installation of our project, anchored around this critical infrastructure investment.”
As the hub for the construction and installation activities for these projects, New Bedford and the South Coast region are poised to take advantage of the significant opportunities for supply chain and workforce development. Both Vineyard Wind and Mayflower Wind have committed to local and regional investments and economic benefits to grow the offshore wind industry and many of the associated sectors and segments.
“The lease agreements for offshore wind are welcome news,” said New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell. “This development demonstrates that even in the midst of a global pandemic, the industry continues to move forward in Massachusetts.”