The Port of New Bedford has become a significant asset as the offshore wind industry has begun to grow in the United States. New Bedford and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts have been preparing for the offshore wind industry for the past several years. In 2015 the state completed the 2-year construction of the Marine Commerce Terminal, a 29-acre facility built specifically for the construction, assembly, and deployment of offshore wind turbines.
In 2016, Governor Charlie Baker signed the Act to Promote Energy Diversity, allowing for the procurement of up to 1,600 megawatts of offshore wind energy by 2027. And in May 2018, the first winning bid was announced to Vineyard Wind for 800MW of offshore wind energy; Vineyard Wind also signed an 18 month lease with the Marine Commerce Terminal in October 2018.
The Port of New Bedford is poised for the development of the offshore wind industry. As the leading, most valuable commercial fishing industry in the country, New Bedford is also one of few marine industrial working waterfronts on the east coast that is home to a full suite of shoreside services that can support diverse industries.
As the commercial fishing industry continues to consolidate, the Port of New Bedford remains a global hub for landing and processing seafood, supported by ample infrastructure and shoreside services that strengthen the Port’s ability to attract and support new marine industry. While many see the fishing industry as a barrier to offshore wind, we see it as providing us with a competitive advantage – the full supply chain that is already in place to support commercial fishing can also support the offshore wind industry.
As the offshore wind industry continues to develop further south, impacting additional fishing communities, the lessons learned through their work with the Port of New Bedford will only set them up for greater success as they expand operations. Time invested working with the Port of New Bedford to ensure compatibility in shared ocean space with commercial fishermen will save time and effort over the long-term expanding south and in the Pacific Ocean.
Due to our long history as a marine industrial working waterfront, the Port of New Bedford is dedicated to advocating for maritime-based infrastructure needs, maritime-based workforce development, and maritime-based public policy, which also suits the development of offshore wind.
Leading the Way in Offshore Wind Development
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