At an event atop the city’s Hurricane Barrier near Gifford Street, Mayor Jon Mitchell joined by other leaders, watched the arrival of the 409 foot-long MV Thorco Svenborg, the first vessel to offload cargo at the new $113 million New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal.
Milestone for New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal
The 28-acre, $113 million New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal was built over the past two years by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center with the support of Mayor Mitchell and the City of New Bedford to handle heavy project loads like the wind turbine components arriving today.
A one-of-a-kind facility in North America, the purpose-built Terminal is capable of handling both traditional heavy cargo and serving as the staging area for offshore wind energy projects presently proposed for federally designated areas of open ocean off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard and Rhode Island.
Milestone for City of New Bedford’s Green Energy Agenda
In addition to the Port of New Bedford playing a role in the transport of wind turbine components, the City of New Bedford will also be a customer for the energy produced by the Plymouth wind power project that is receiving the components. Under Mayor Mitchell, the City of New Bedford has pursued an ambitious, nation-leading effort to reduce city government’s utility costs and its carbon footprint by securing deeply discounted “green” power from both solar and wind sources.
With ten large-scale solar projects in or nearing operation, the City now has more installed solar capacity per capita than any other municipality in the continental United States. The ConEdison Solutions “Future Generation Wind” Project in Plymouth will balance the City’s existing portfolio of ten solar projects by supplying 15 percent of the City’s current annual electricity usage from a wind source.
All together the City’s eleven solar and wind projects will supply two-thirds of local government’s power needs, and save taxpayers $30 million over the next twenty years. New Bedford’s municipal facilities, which number nearly 100 structures including school buildings, use about 40 million kilowatt hours of electricity each year.
Under a contract negotiated with ConEdison Solutions, the “Future Generation Wind” Project will supply the City with 6.2 million kilowatt hours of electricity at a fixed price of 10.8 cents per kilowatt hour for the next twenty years. 6.2 million kilowatt hours are roughly the power produced annually by one of the Project’s four turbines. The 10.8 cent price provides a discount of 25 percent from the current Eversource rate, which will save the City $200,000 next year and $7 million over the next twenty years.
Officials Speak on the Significance of Terminal’s First Use
Mayor Jon Mitchell spoke about how far the City had come and what the future could hold, saying “It was not long ago that this area of our waterfront was a contaminated wetland and an eyesore. Today, as a result of many months of work with our state and federal partners, this area has begun functioning as an economic engine for the residents of New Bedford.”
Mitchell added, “If we stay true to our vision, this one-of-a-kind facility has great potential to become an economic driver for—not just New Bedford—but for the entire region, a region that has too often missed out on opportunities for economic growth in the past.”
Anthony Sapienza, President of the New Bedford Economic Development Council echoed Mayor Mitchell, saying “The NBEDC has been proactively working with Mayor Mitchell and a wide range of state and local partners to plan for greater heavy cargo activity in the port today, while preparing for a long-term future in offshore wind energy. The arrival of MV Thorco Svenborg as the first user of the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal is a true milestone in that effort.”
Richie Canastra, a Commissioner of the Harbor Development Commission and owner of the New Bedford Seafood Display Auction, also welcomed today’s development, saying “New Bedford harbor is the backbone of our local economy, so anything we do to modernize its infrastructure is an investment in our community’s future success. We need to find every way we can to maximize the benefit of this facility in our port.”
Michael W. Gibson of ConEdison Solutions said, “In line with the Commonwealth’s worthy commitment to renewable energy, including the use of wind power, we appreciate the City of New Bedford’s cooperation—through the use of its port—to help get this project underway. We look forward to a continued partnership with the Mayor and the community for years to come.”
More Activity To Follow Monday’s Arrival
Turbine components, manufactured in the U.S., Europe, and Asia by Spanish-based Gamesa, will be transported in stages later this summer to the Plymouth project site at night using local roads. Offloading of the nacelles aboard the MV Thorco Svenborg will begin on Tuesday morning, July 7, 2015. The operation is being handled by Maritime International, a local company using local longshoremen.
About ConEdison Solutions
ConEdison Solutions is a leading energy services company that provides competitive power supply, renewable energy, sustainability services, and cost-effective energy solutions for commercial, industrial, residential, and government customers. Through its innovative and comprehensive 360 Energy Integration approach, ConEdison Solutions offers programs, services and solutions designed to achieve the energy objectives of its clients. The firm is accredited by the internationally recognized National Association of Energy Service Company (NAESCO) as an Energy Services Provider (ESP) which is the organization’s highest achievement level.
With 21 years’ experience and more than 31,200 MW installed in more than 50 countries, Gamesa is a global technological leader in the wind industry. Its comprehensive presence includes the wind turbine operation and maintenance services for more than 20,700 megawatts. Gamesa is also a world leader in the development, construction, and sale of wind farms, having installed 6,400 megawatts worldwide.
About Maritime International
Maritime International is full service company providing the highest level of service to its customers, as well as, offering transportation services, warehousing, truck brokering, vessel chartering, ship agency, freight forwarding and stevedoring. Maritime International operates five individual cold storage facilities located in Connecticut, Delaware, and Massachusetts, with over 13 million cubic feet of public cold storage space.