Offshore wind projects secure facility lease

Mayflower Wind/s lease area. Vineyard Wind's lease area is OCS-A 0501. Both companies will use a terminal in New Bedford for assembling their projects.

On Thursday, Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration announced the signing of lease agreements with Vineyard Wind and Mayflower Wind to utilize the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal as the primary staging base for construction and installation of offshore wind projects.

The lease agreements commit the marine facility to full time offshore wind work from 2023 to 2027 and are worth up to $32.5 million. Both leases contain provisions for shared use.

“These lease agreements with Vineyard Wind and Mayflower Wind are another major milestone for offshore wind in Massachusetts,” Governor Baker said in a release from the executive office of energy and environmental affairs. “With this announcement, the Commonwealth continues its national leadership on clean energy and ensures Massachusetts workers will benefit from the jobs and economic opportunities provided by this new industry.”

Vineyard Wind and Mayflower Wind were selected in May 2018 and October 2019, respectively, to provide 1,600 megawatts of cost effective renewable offshore wind energy to Massachusetts. This is estimated to support between 2,000 and 3,000 jobs over 10 years and generate an economic impact of up to $2 billion.

The Marine facility from which they will operate is a 29-acre heavy-lift facility designed to support the construction, assembly, and deployment of offshore wind projects, according to the release — the first in the country.

“Vineyard Wind is already proud to call New Bedford home, and with the signing of this lease agreement, we mark yet another step forward in bringing our first project to fruition,” Vineyard Wind CEO Lars T. Pedersen said in the release.  “Once construction begins, the Marine Commerce Terminal will become the birthplace of an entirely new industry, with jobs and opportunities for local residents that simply don’t exist today. We’re fortunate to have such great partners both locally in the City and Port of New Bedford and in the Baker-Polito Administration.  We look forward to being a growing part of the community.”

“Mayflower Wind would like to thank the Commonwealth and City of New Bedford for their leadership and vision in establishing the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal,” said Michael Brown, President and CEO, Mayflower Wind.  “We look forward to creating thousands of good-paying jobs during the construction and installation of our project, anchored around this critical infrastructure investment.”