CHARLESTOWN — The Baker-Polito Administration today announced $180 million in funding through the Offshore Wind Ports Infrastructure Investment Challenge, a competitive funding opportunity opened earlier in the year which seeks to expand and develop port infrastructure at three key harbors along the Massachusetts coast.
“Massachusetts’ path to Net Zero in 2050 requires substantial investments in offshore wind, and today we are taking another giant step forward in achieving a clean energy future through the $180 million Offshore Wind Ports Infrastructure Investment Challenge,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “I am proud of the collective progress we have made in the Commonwealth, and am eager to see our residents and businesses directly benefit from the use of clean energy for years to come through the commercial-scale offshore wind projects currently being developed.”
“Projects funded through the Offshore Wind Ports Infrastructure Investment Challenge will have a significant impact on the advancement of the sector, and will capture high-value supply chain and workforce opportunities in the Commonwealth,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “This $180 million investment will not only provide clean, affordable energy, but will also help revitalize gateway communities by delivering valuable jobs for our residents.”
Today, the Administration is also announcing the release of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s (MassCEC) 2022 Clean Energy Industry Report. This year’s report identified that the industry has directly employed 104,290 Massachusetts residents and indirectly generated another 95,046 jobs. The Massachusetts Clean Energy Industry outpaces several other industries with opportunities spread throughout the Commonwealth. Based on the report’s analysis, the Massachusetts clean energy industry is responsible for a total economic contribution of 199,336 jobs, $28.4 billion in gross state product, $1.8 billion in state and local tax revenue, and $3.5 billion in federal taxes.
“The generation of offshore wind energy serves as a key component of Massachusetts’ strategy to meet its climate goals and achieve Net Zero in 2050. The investments announced today by the Baker-Polito Administration is a major step in our work to support and provide clean, affordable energy to our residents,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Beth Card. “As outlined in the 2022 Clean Energy Industry Report, Massachusetts has a robust clean energy sector, which will continue to grow as additional investments are made, ultimately providing thousands of jobs and increasing the value of local economies throughout the Commonwealth.”
Key elements of the offshore wind infrastructure landscape in Massachusetts include two pioneering facilities. MassCEC’s Wind Technology Testing Center in the City of Boston’s Charlestown neighborhood, which is one of only six facilities in the world capable of fatigue testing the latest in blade technology, and MassCEC’s New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal, which is the first purpose-built for offshore wind port in the country. In January 2023, Vineyard Wind will commence its lease of the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal, and with its contractors and suppliers, will begin operations at the construction base port of the nation’s first commercial-scale offshore wind farm. Offshore wind developers Mayflower Wind will also have a lease for the Terminal, committing the facility to projects through most of 2027.
“MassCEC is thrilled to continue play a critical role in the investments of offshore wind ports infrastructure, and these projects will each serve an important role in the offshore wind supply chain that will help prepare Massachusetts for a future powered by wind,” said MassCEC CEO Jennifer Daloisio. “Significantly, that future also brings high value jobs, a more inclusive workforce, a broader adoption of innovative clean energy solutions, and a growing future for this industry.”
The funding being announced today will expand the scope and depth of offshore wind port infrastructure in the Cities of New Bedford and Salem, and the Town of Somerset. Through the Massachusetts Offshore Wind Industry Ports Investment Challenge competitive funding opportunity, administered by MassCEC, $135 million is being invested in port redevelopment projects through the following awards:
- $75,000,000 to Crowley Wind Services and the City of Salem for the conversion of a former coal-fired power plant industrial property in Salem into a world class purpose-built offshore wind marshalling port. Work also includes expanding the public-private partnership with the Commonwealth, to ensure that this facility will be available to support the state’s important offshore wind and climate goals, with MassCEC and Salem taking ownership of the site and leasing back to Crowley to operate the wind port.
- $25,000,000 to Prysmian Projects North America for the redevelopment of part of the Brayton Point Marine Commerce Center in Somerset to construct a manufacturing facility and terminal for marine high voltage cables.
- $15,000,000 to New Bedford Port Authority for the improvement of its North Terminal 1 port facility, with bulkhead and terminal space, and the modernization of port-wide operations to efficiently manage increased vessel traffic.
- $15,000,000 to New Bedford Foss Marine Terminal for the redevelopment of the former Sprague/Eversource power plant, transforming the legacy site into a modern offshore wind port supporting operations and construction activities, with new heavy-lift quayside, laydown space, and berthing for feeder barges and service operations.
- $4,639,200 to Shoreline Marine Terminals for the build-out of marine terminals with new bulkhead, docking space, lift piers, fueling capacity and other infrastructure which will support the day-to-day operations of offshore wind crew transfer and other vessels for vessel maintenance and repairs in the port of New Bedford.
- $360,800 to Gladding Hearn Shipbuilding for shipyard upgrades to enable the local facility in Somerset to fabricate and repair aluminum high-speed crew transfer vessels for Vineyard Wind, Mayflower Wind and other projects.
- $45,000,000 to MassCEC’s New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal for facility improvements to ensure it can accommodate the current and future offshore wind projects.
“For centuries, when Salem looked toward its future, it looked toward the sea,” said Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll. “This site, in particular, has provided the electricity that has powered our community and our Commonwealth for generations. With this announcement that legacy now takes another step toward its continuation, with new focus on a clean energy future based on renewable power and a shared commitment to positive action to mitigate climate change. The transformational project that this major grant award will make possible will provide a significant expansion to our commercial tax base and create hundreds of clean energy jobs, right here in Salem. I’m incredibly grateful to the Baker-Polito Administration for this funding, and to the city staff and community partners who have made this project possible.”
“In New Bedford, we have long recognized that to compete successfully for investment from the offshore wind industry, we need to build port infrastructure that meets the industry’s needs,” said New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell. “I would like to thank Governor Baker, Lieutenant Governor Polito, Secretary Card, the MassCEC team, and the legislative leadership for providing the resources necessary to activate projects that are shovel-ready for construction.”
“Offshore wind is key to achieving our Commonwealth's climate goals, promoting energy security, and generating thousands of good clean energy jobs,” said Representative Jeffrey N. Roy (D-Franklin), House Chair of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy. “Building off the legislature's 2022 Climate Act and Economic Development Bill, these strategic investments ensure Massachusetts's ports and port communities are prepared to capture the economic benefits as we lead the nation in this burgeoning new industry.”
This ports investment also includes a commitment to the state-owned New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal for capital improvements to ensure the Terminal can accommodate the current and future size of offshore projects.