The Baker-Polito Administration today signed a Letter of Intent with DONG Energy, Deepwater Wind and OffshoreMW to lease the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal as a staging and deployment location for future wind projects. The agreement with the developers, who hold leases in the federally identified offshore wind energy development areas located 14 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard, builds upon the Commonwealth’s commitment to a diverse energy portfolio and position as a national leader in offshore wind, and will strengthen the state’s clean energy economy.
“Massachusetts has achieved another major milestone in securing a clean energy future for the Commonwealth’s ratepayers,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “With this agreement, Massachusetts stands to recognize jobs and economic benefits from this emerging sector within the clean energy industry, and will continue to lead the nation in offshore wind development and renewable energy innovation.”
“This is a big step forward in establishing a supply chain that will produce quality jobs and long-term economic growth on the South Coast and throughout Massachusetts,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “This agreement builds on the historic energy legislation recently signed by our administration, and will help ensure we meet our ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction targets while also creating a stronger economy for the Commonwealth.”
Through the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), the Letter of Intent with the offshore wind developers represents a commitment to a two-year lease at $5.7 million annually to use the terminal as a staging and deployment location for future wind projects.
“This agreement builds on the significant steps the Baker-Polito Administration has taken towards a balanced and diverse energy portfolio that will reduce both energy costs and our carbon footprint,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “As a result of the signing of a Letter of Intent for the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal, Massachusetts continues to position itself to develop an entire clean energy economy around environmentally responsible power for ratepayers across the Commonwealth.”
“Offshore wind presents a significant resource, and the state’s key investments in infrastructure and advanced planning make it an ideal location to establish a supply chain that will service this industry along the East Coast,” said MassCEC Interim CEO Stephen Pike. “MassCEC is ready to welcome our first offshore wind customers as we prepare to make Massachusetts the North American hub of this emerging industry.”
“I am very proud to join in this morning’s announcement,” said Congressman William Keating (D-Massachusetts). “Massachusetts is – and has been – a pioneer of harnessing offshore wind energy, and collaboration at all levels has invested in the infrastructure, policies, and workforce programs to ensure that this sector succeeds. Offshore wind energy development is not a trend, and neither are the many benefits that energy consumers of all demographics will reap. Nationally and state-wide, we are committed to growing wind energy capacity, thus reducing the costs of offshore wind to consumers as well as levels of carbon pollution.”
The announcement follows the Baker-Polito Administration’s recent signing of comprehensive energy legislation which requires utilities to competitively solicit and contract for approximately 1,600 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind and 1,200 MW of other clean energy generation, such as hydropower. The legislation spurs the development of an emerging offshore wind industry to create jobs and represents the largest commitment by any state in the nation to offshore wind.
“Today’s success in bringing this new industry to New Bedford means jobs and investment for our community and for our Commonwealth,” said State Representative Antonio Cabral (D-New Bedford). “It is the result of a broad collaboration, spanning many years. The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center deserves our thanks for believing in New Bedford and for sharing our vision of starting America’s off-shore wind industry right here in Massachusetts.”
“There are too many people to thank for making this day happen,” said State Representative Christopher Markey (D-Dartmouth). “However, we should be thankful for a system of government that can pass the baton and it be accepted and embraced even when there is a change of administration. I thank the Baker-Polito Administration for catching the baton and embracing New Bedford as the port for off-shore wind energy for the generations to come.”
“New Bedford has worked hard to position itself as the leading American port for the emerging offshore wind industry,” said New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell. “State support is essential to our efforts, and so we are grateful for Governor Baker’s commitment to maximize the value of the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal, which will soon serve as the industry’s launching pad.”
“The historic attributes which continue to make the Port of New Bedford a center for commercial fishing and commerce will now include support for ocean based renewable energy,” said State Representative William Straus (D-Mattapoisett). “The New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal is ready to play a key part in the balanced energy future essential to the state and New England.”
Operated by MassCEC, the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal is a multi-purpose, 26-acre 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 of its kind in North America, the terminal has been engineered to sustain mobile crane and storage loads that rival the highest capacity ports in the world.
“The New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal will play a critical role in supporting an offshore wind industry here and we are pleased to sign the LOI,” said Thomas Brostrøm, General Manager of North America, DONG Energy Wind Power (U.S.) Inc. “We already know the benefits that the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal can provide the region and the industry having used it as our mobilization base for the research vessel, The RV Ocean Researcher that sailed from the terminal earlier this month to conduct a geophysical survey in our lease area south of Martha’s Vineyard.”
“As a local company ourselves, it's a no-brainer- the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal is one of the finest heavy cargo terminals in the world,” said Matthew Morrissey, Vice President of Massachusetts Deepwater Wind. “Combine this with incredible local support of this proud, seafaring city and you have the key ingredients needed to become a true offshore wind hub. We are grateful for the leadership of Governor Baker, Lieutenant Governor Polito, Secretary Beaton, Steve Pike and the Massachusetts legislature in bringing this new industry to the Commonwealth.”
“The construction of the Marine Commerce Terminal, along with the recently enacted energy legislation, were the two key drivers for my company to recently ramp up its investment in Massachusetts’s new offshore wind industry,” said Erich Stephens, Executive Vice President of OffshoreMW. “That investment will be creating new jobs in wide variety of sectors, from professional to scientific to construction to maritime. Indeed, we are already putting people to work here in New Bedford, on Martha’s Vineyard, and in Boston. Along with our competitors, we will be creating a new industry employing hundreds across the Commonwealth in the years ahead. This offshore wind industry will be driving down the cost -and increasing the availability- of clean energy sources that future generations need us to develop today.”