Vineyard Wind to use New Bedford for staging

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) said in a press release Monday that the Baker-Polito administration has signed a lease agreement with Vineyard Wind to use the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal as the primary staging and deployment location for its offshore wind project.

Vineyard Wind was selected in May 2018 to provide 800 megawatts of cost-effective offshore wind power to Massachusetts.

Scott Farmelant, a spokesman for Vineyard Wind, said the New Bedford terminal is the first and only port in America designed specifically to stage and deploy wind turbines. “The terminal is made specifically to handle the type of weight and length we see from these towers, which are very large,” he said. “Parts get built with different supplies in different areas, then are sent to New Bedford to be put together and transported, so it creates a network between suppliers.”

Farmelant said this lease agreement and the wind project are the future of the offshore wind industry. “It’s not just about this one project. You are building an ecosystem for the long term. This is about the future,” he said.

Chief operating officer for the MassCEC Sarah Colao Wallach said the terminal has its purpose, but port infrastructure is also a central goal. “We are excited to create an interconnected economy between other ports that ship the parts, and form long-term business relationships that can be utilized for future projects,” she said.

Although staging and deployment will take place in New Bedford, the operations and repair center will still be located in Vineyard Haven.

There will be continued demand for wind energy in the future, according to Farmelant. “This is an incredibly positive thing for the ocean economy and the commonwealth.”