Vineyard Wind offers a large development off the coast of Salem

Wind of Mayflower or Wind of Vineyard? Or, in other words, Fall River or Salem?

The two developers vying for Massachusetts’ third offshore wind development each make the promise of economic development and renewal in a Massachusetts port if their project is selected – Mayflower Wind in Fall River and, announced Thursday morning, Vineyard Wind in Salem.

The company, which is based in New Bedford as it develops the country’s first large-scale offshore wind farm, said it has reached an agreement with the city of Salem and Crowley Maritime Corporation to create a public-private partnership “aimed at establishing Salem Harbor as the state’s second major offshore wind port “and creating hundreds of jobs.

“As offshore wind continues to expand, new, specially designed ports will be key to the success of this industry. By building the country’s first offshore wind port at New Bedford, Massachusetts led the way. With a new offshore wind farm in the Port of Salem, the Commonwealth can ensure it is ready to meet the demands of a rapidly growing industry, ”said Lars Pedersen, CEO of Vineyard Wind, in a statement.

Vineyard Wind said it would use the Salem Project, slated for the 42-acre Salem Harbor Station site, for turbine assembly and staging activities for its Commonwealth Wind proposal, if chosen later this year by a group of utility leaders working with some states. assistance.

Under the proposed deal, Crowley Maritime would purchase land around the Salem port station and then serve as the long-term offshore wind port operator for the site.

Avangrid Renewables and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, the groups behind the Vineyard Wind joint venture, would serve as key tenants of the port and use “the property for the Commonwealth Wind project as well as other projects in the company’s portfolio.”

When going public with details of its offerings last week, Mayflower Wind said if chosen to develop the state’s third offshore wind farm, it would establish an operations and maintenance port at the Borden complex. & Remington in Fall River and would spend up to $ 81 million on supply chain support, training and education, port investments, and diversity and inclusion programs on the South Coast.

Salem’s proposal was announced Thursday morning at a press conference attended by local officials Senator Joan Lovely, Representative Paul Tucker and others.

Due to its deep-water port and “unrestricted height access” that can accommodate large vessels needed for offshore wind work, Vineyard Wind said it sees Salem “as a necessary addition to support the offshore wind industry. within the Commonwealth and across the region “.

“For centuries, when Salem looked to his future, he looked out to sea. This site, in particular, has provided the electricity that has powered our community and our Commonwealth for generations. Today, with this announcement, that legacy can continue with a new focus on a clean energy future, based on renewable energy and with a shared commitment to positive action to mitigate climate change, ”said said Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll. “In addition, this project would significantly expand our commercial tax base and create hundreds of clean energy jobs right here in Salem.

A port capable of meeting wind development needs in Salem could be the key to potential offshore wind projects in the Gulf of Maine, an area that many advocates say may be ready to host some of the dozens of wind farms that will be needed to meet various states. and federal procurement targets.

“In Maine, offshore wind power represents our largest untapped natural energy resource, with over 156 GW (1 gigawatt = 1,000 megawatts) of potential energy waiting to be tapped off the coast of Maine. … The Mainers currently use 2.4 GW (2,400 megawatts) of electricity each year, ”the University of Maine said on the website for its efforts to develop floating hulls that can support offshore wind turbines in deep waters off Maine.

As UMaine works with the New England Aqua Ventus project to build an 11 MW single turbine floating offshore wind pilot development south of Monhegan Island, Maine Governor Janet Mills has launched a state-led effort to pursue a floating offshore wind research network in the Gulf of Maine.

“The Gulf has some of the country’s most abundant offshore wind resources, but its deep waters likely require floating turbine technology to harness them. Maine has pioneered floating wind technology for over a decade; economic force for the State ”, indicates the State on its Internet site.

Meanwhile, the Federal Office of Ocean Energy Management formed the Gulf of Maine Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force in late 2019, a group that brings together energy and environmental officials from Maine. , New Hampshire and Massachusetts to start thinking about how, where, and whether the federal government should open up parts of the Gulf of Maine to offshore wind development.

Colin A. Young, State House Press Service

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