State and City officials gathered in New Bedford yesterday to sign a formal Cooperation Agreement for the “New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal,” a $100 million specialized marine terminal capable of handling massive turbines, blades, and other components necessary for constructing wind farms at sea.
The Terminal has recently been the focus of intense state and city planning. An award for a general construction contract is expected this spring, with the Terminal ready in time to support the nation’s first offshore wind energy project, the Cape Wind Project.
New Bedford is increasingly regarded as the strong frontrunner in the state-level competition for the launch of the offshore wind energy industry in North America. Federal and state policies, as well as geography, have bestowed decisive competitive advantages on the City, and the City is doing its best to ensure these advantages are capitalized upon.
In addition to being the closest major industrial port to the Cape Wind Project, the Port of New Bedford is also closest to areas of ocean just south of Martha’s Vineyard that have been federally designated for offshore wind development and that contain fully 25% of the nation’s wind reserves.
Assembled in New Bedford today were: Mayor Jon Mitchell, Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Rick Sullivan, representatives from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Technology Center, the New Bedford Harbor Development Commission, and the New Bedford Redevelopment Authority.
The Agreement reflects the shared commitment and goals of the City of New Bedford and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and outlines the many areas in which the parties will collaborate to support the project, including transportation investments, supply-chain development, and job-training.
“Governor Patrick, Secretary Sullivan, and the MassCEC have been terrific partners to the City of New Bedford. The have had the vision to see the unique advantages that give New Bedford a leg-up on the competition in the race to develop the offshore wind industry. The combination of their leadership, and our commitment as a community, have made New Bedford the odds-on favorite to become the birthplace of the industry in North America,” said Mayor Jon Mitchell.
“The Patrick-Murray Administration is dedicated to making the Commonwealth a pioneer in offshore wind and we are pleased to celebrate this partnership with the City of New Bedford,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan. “By choosing to invest in this project, we are supporting economic growth in New Bedford and the South Coast, creating jobs and launching a promising new global industry in Massachusetts.”
“This Terminal will make Massachusetts and New Bedford hubs of the global offshore wind energy industry, which will generate more than $50 billion in the United States by 2025,” said MassCEC CEO Alicia Barton. “We’re looking forward to continuing this partnership with the City to make the Terminal an economic centerpiece of this community for years to come.”