Bay State Wind vying for Massachusetts’ second wind farm

BOSTON – Bay State Wind, a 50/50 joint venture between Danish energy company Ørsted and New England energy company Eversource, has submitted a bid for Massachusetts’ second solicitation for commercial offshore wind.

The proposal, submitted Friday, includes 400-megawatt and 800-megawatt options.

Friday, Aug. 23 is the deadline for confidential bids. By Aug. 30, companies must submit public versions of those bids.

Bay State Wind said its venture, which has been in development since 2015, offers “unmatched project maturity,” has demonstrated a significant willingness to work with the fishing industry and people concerned about marine life, and has committed to making meaningful local investments.

Bay State Wind bid unsuccessfully in the state’s first solicitation in 2017.

“Our project will not only create jobs and provide local investment, it will be delivered by the offshore wind’s leading experts to ensure the project is achievable, sustainable and successful for the commonwealth,” Ørsted’s Thomas Brostrøm said in a news release. Brostrøm is president of Ørsted North America and CEO of Ørsted U.S. Offshore Wind.

Lee Olivier, an executive vice president at Eversource, said, “We are thrilled to once again help Massachusetts take the next step to grow its clean energy economy.”

According to Bay State Wind, the 800-megawatt proposal could generate enough energy for up to 500,000 Massachusetts homes and deliver greenhouse gas reductions equivalent to taking up to 350,000 cars off the road.

Vineyard Wind, which received the first Massachusetts contract, had hoped to begin construction this year on its $2.8 billion, 84-turbine wind farm. A key federal permit was expected in July, but federal officials decided to first conduct a broader review of the potential effects of offshore wind development on the East Coast, creating a delay whose full effect is not yet known.

Original story here.

Vineyard Wind submits bid No. 2

Posted Aug 23, 2019 at 3:07 PM

Vineyard Wind is bidding for another wind farm.

The company submitted a bid Friday for Massachusetts’ second solicitation for commercial offshore wind. Bay State Wind announced a bid earlier in the day.

Both companies made the announcements on their own initiative; the state plans to keep the names of bidders confidential until at least Aug. 30.

Vineyard Wind said it has proposed the required 400-megawatt option, plus two options for an 800-megawatt project.

“Vineyard Wind is very excited to submit these proposals, which offer significant job creation and port infrastructure investment opportunity for the region, while ensuring an attractive, fixed price for electric ratepayers,” Vineyard Wind CEO Lars Pedersen said in a news release. “We look forward to announcing additional details on this exciting project in the weeks ahead.”

The proposed wind farm, dubbed Vineyard Wind 2, would be built in Vineyard Wind’s lease area, south of the Vineyard Wind 1 project. The design for Vineyard Wind 2 shows turbines in rows aligned east to west, with spacing of one nautical mile between turbines, according to the release.

In 2018, Vineyard Wind won Massachusetts’ first contract for commercial offshore wind. Construction was scheduled to start this year, but the schedule is now uncertain because the project has been delayed in the federal permitting process. The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has said it wants to conduct a broad review of the potential effects of offshore wind on the East Coast, a decision applauded by the Responsible Offshore Development Alliance, a fishing industry group.

Confidential bids are due Friday, Aug. 23 for Massachusetts’ second solicitation. By Aug. 30, companies must submit public versions of those bids.

Original story here.

Old ‘Revere Copper and Brass’ will get new life as shipyard

After sitting vacant for over a decade, an historic mill on the waterfront is getting a new life as a commercial shipyard.

At the beginning of this month, Shoreline Resources, LLC purchased the 14-acre Revere Copper Products property on North Front Street for $50,000, according to documents in the Registry of Deeds.

The property, long known as Revere Copper and Brass, had a 147-year history of rolling sheet copper, fashioning brass nautical fittings, and even producing war materials at critical points in history, as previously reported by The Standard-Times, before the plant was shuttered in 2008.

After that, many suggestions were floated for the property — including a shopping mall, residences like Lofts at Wamsutta Place, and a casino — but none came to fruition.

There are a few potential reasons it could have sold now for what seems like a low cost for waterfront property, according to former city assessor Peter Barney.

Those reasons include that with yearly taxes between $40,000- $60,000 it was costing the former owners too much to maintain the empty industrial structure; the layout of the buildings are too industrial to be made into apartments; and any potential buyer would have to factor in the cost of cleaning and developing it, he said.

The new owners of the property saw what the site could be, though.

“We saw the site come up a few years back and we saw the potential with it,” said Michael Quinn who runs Shoreline Resources with his father Charlie.

The Quinns have their own long history with the city and its port.

“We’ve been in the commercial fishing industry for 30 years,” Michael said.

Currently the father and son own Quinn Fisheries, which has six commercial fishing vessels; Standard Marine Outfitters, a vessel supply company; and East Coast Fabrication, a ship repair company.

They have run the latter company for over a decade and saw the Revere site as an opportunity to expand on it, according to Michael.

“We only do retrofits now (at East Coast Fabrication), we don’t have the space to build,” Michael said.

That’s where the new site comes in. They plan on turning it into a commercial shipyard, Michael said, and their long-term goal is to build new commercial vessels and barges.

One of the reasons the site was attractive to the Quinns was because of the city’s harbor dredging project.

“We’ve been looking at the Phase Five project for a few years now and see it as a good opportunity to reactivate the site,” said Michael.

That was the goal of the harbor dredging project, according to Executive Director of the Port of New Bedford Edward Anthes-Washburn.

“The whole point of the planning we’ve done is to activate the parts of the waterfront that aren’t doing much,” said Anthes-Washburn, noting that included the Revere Copper property.

Anthes-Washburn said the city, with around 350 vessels that list it as their homeport, will benefit from the proposed shipyard.

“Having an expanded ability to work on the fishing vessels that call the port home is going to be great for the port,” Anthes-Washburn said.

Mayor Jon Mitchell agreed, “Establishing a shipyard at this site gives the port an increased capacity to service the fishing industry, the offshore wind industry, and others.”

In addition to attracting the Quinns, Mitchell said the dredging that will take place in the next few years will open the port to more business activities.

Both Mitchell and Anthes-Washburn said the shipyard will create jobs.

“When Revere closed that plant there was still a large number of people working there and although this site won’t be as large a direct employer it will allow other businesses to operate here who in turn will employee a significant number of people,” Mitchell said.

Before they start hiring a potential 20-50 employees (including welders, carpenters, and mechanics), Shoreline Resources has to start construction, which Michael said they plan on doing right away.

Construction will involve demolishing a few of the buildings on the waterside to create a few areas for the vessels, according to Michael Quinn, but they won’t be taking down the buildings on the roadside.

“We’re probably taking down two acres worth of buildings,” said Michael about the 14-acre site which has a total of eight buildings.

Mitchell said he’s had “some very constructive discussions” with the Quinns about preserving the buildings on the site that have the highest historical significance.

“There’s a lot of historical value to the site which is another reason our family wanted to take it on,” Quinn said. “We come from New Bedford and want to see the site reactivated and not go to waste.”

The construction plan for the site will take three to five years to complete, according to Michael, and they’ve been working closely with the city and other institutions to get the process underway.

Original story here.

Dredging will open 40 harbor sites, including Revere Copper, to new opportunities

They’re going to build boats at the old Revere Copper. To do it, son-and-father team Michael and Charlie Quinn need the harbor dredged in front of the iconic former metalworks.

Four feet of water is far from enough.

Their company, Shoreline Resources, is one of dozens in New Bedford and Fairhaven poised to benefit from a massive, nearly harbor-wide dredging plan, set to take place over the next two years.

The dredging will remove sediment along public and private wharves on both sides of New Bedford Harbor, deepen channels to improve access to marinas, and create areas newly usable for mooring fields.

Edward Anthes-Washburn, New Bedford port director, said the hulls of fishing vessels are getting deeper, requiring more draft.

“Allowing … the entire port to react to that and be able to dredge down, it really sets us up for decades of success,” he said.

The city and state are cooperating on a dredging plan whose main goal is economic development. But because the dredging will also remove contaminated sediment, the city was able to get the work permitted through the federal Superfund process already underway.

“It’s like a win-win,” said Timothy Cox, Fairhaven harbormaster.

Right now, shallow waters mean it’s not unusual for Cox’s staff to aid vessels that have run aground in areas north of Pope’s Island.

“A lot of the boats at Slocum Cove at moon tides can’t leave the marina or get to the marina,” he said.

Washburn said the commitment to dredge has already spurred investment, including the recent purchase of the old Fairhaven Hardware by Fairhaven Shipyard.

As many sites in Fairhaven are scheduled for dredging as in New Bedford, including 14 residential properties, according to Cox.

Fifteen Fairhaven businesses have agreed to participate as well, according to Paul Foley, the town’s director of planning and economic development.

Washburn said that as part of the State Enhanced Remedy, which is work done in coordination with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency cleanup of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in the harbor, the state is funding 80% of the navigational dredging in front of commercial properties.

The overall cost is about $100 a yard.

The 80% represents the portion of the cost attributed to the fact that sediment is contaminated and needs to be buried in a confined aquatic disposal cell, or CAD cell.

Businesses will pay 20% — which is roughly the equivalent of what they would have paid for dredging if the harbor were clean, Washburn said.

Residential owners will not get the subsidy, but because the work is tacked onto a larger project, they will pay about one-sixth of what they would have otherwise paid, he said.

Foley said a cleaner harbor will improve public perception of the harbor, and deeper water could allow for 100 or more additional moorings.

At State Pier on the New Bedford side, dredging will help support the shipping of clementines and other produce. And a variety of businesses, such as Crystal Ice, will be able to provide services to larger vessels, Washburn said.

The dredging is expected to go down five feet, and most of the contamination is in the first three feet. The material going into the CAD cell is less contaminated than the area around it, according to Washburn.

The navigational dredging project will have its own CAD cell, south and east of an existing CAD cell created by the EPA. It will be capped with three feet of clean material.

Building the cell should take nine months to a year, and the dredging should take another year, Washburn said.

He said the waterfront is “incredibly vibrant,” diverse, and job-rich.

“We only have about 600 acres, and there are 6,800 jobs that are located in the New Bedford and Fairhaven waterfronts. So we’re doing pretty good in terms of the marine industrial activities that’s happening,” he said.

The harbor is growing as a fishing port at a time when many fishing ports are disappearing, in large part because of the diversity of what New Bedford Harbor offers, he said.

As new uses emerge, such as offshore wind, the port wants to create infrastructure to support them while continuing to grow as a fishing port and supporting the fishing industry, he said.

In all, 40 different sites will be dredged for navigation as part of the project.

Maps of the work will be on view at a public meeting Aug. 13 at 2 p.m. at Fairhaven Town Hall. The project is also scheduled for discussion the following week at the Fairhaven selectmen’s meeting, Washburn said.

BCC receives $200K for offshore wind training

Offshore wind training programs just got a boost in the SouthCoast. Vineyard Wind and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, on behalf of the Baker-Polito administration, announced six recipients of offshore wind workplace training grants at a news conference on Friday.

Recipients of the over $720,0000 in grants included Bristol Community College, Cape Cod Community College, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, UMass Amherst, Adult Continuing Education- Martha’s Vineyard, and Pile Drivers and Divers Local 56 trade union.

“As we prepare for the construction and installation of offshore wind projects, these grants will help establish a network of critical training programs in the Commonwealth to support local workers as they build this new frontier for American energy,” said Gov. Charlie Baker in a statement.

Speakers at the city’s Marine Commerce Terminal included politicians and representatives from MassCEC and Vineyard Wind, whose speeches all touched on their desire to make Massachusetts the epicenter of the offshore wind industry.

“This is an effort that started a while ago,” said MassCEC CEO Stephen Pike, “and the entire focus of Mass CEC over the last 10 years in terms of offshore wind is to ensure that we make New Bedford, Fall River, Somerset, and the Cape and the islands really the focal point for the industry in the United States.”

Mass. sets specifics for second offshore wind procurement

Posted Mar 28, 2019 at 2:51 PM

BOSTON — The Baker administration and the state’s utilities are ready to go back to market and put another offshore wind contract out to bid.

The state Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and electric distribution companies Eversource, National Grid and Unitil have filed documents with state regulators to initiate a procurement of up to 800 megawatts of offshore wind power, with the goal of executing a final contract by the end of 2019.

A 2016 law authorized up to 1,600 megawatts of offshore wind power. Vineyard Wind secured the first contract and is advancing its 800 megawatt project.

The timeframe for the next procurement, which is subject to Department of Public Utilities approval, calls for bids to be submitted in August, project selection in November and execution of a long-term contract by the end of the year, enabling the venture that secures the contract to secure federal investment tax credits.

Administration officials say they are hoping to build on the new industry’s growing supply chain and aiming to ensure job creation at the local level — the bulk of wind energy development is happening in federally leased areas south of Martha’s Vineyard, with New Bedford angling to serve as a staging center.

The 2016 renewable energy law requires bidders to come in with lower prices in the second procurement, compared to the first, but officials said they are trying to build some “flexibility” into that process because they view Vineyard Wind’s winning bid as reflective of a very competitive price.

The offshore wind industry along the Massachusetts coast has the potential to be a more significant sector than “anybody ever imagined or appreciated,” Gov. Charlie Baker said this month, once energy-storage technology is further developed and deployed in tandem with clean energy from wind turbines.

The strategic opportunities to combine offshore wind and storage to make something greater than the sum of its parts are expected to be realized in the next three to five years, the governor said, in the early days of Massachusetts getting clean power from ocean-based wind.

“Storage has the capacity to turn wind into something that’s dramatically more important and significant than just another available energy source,” Baker said in his March 6 keynote address at a forum hosted by the Environmental League of Massachusetts (ELM) in partnership with the State House News Forum.

The request for proposals (RFP) addresses energy storage, with DOER general counsel Robert Hoagland writing that storage could provide increased benefits and reduce the costs of integrating offshore wind power.

In the planned RFP, the distribution companies seek to procure at least 400 megawatts of power, but will allow proposals from 200 megawatts up to 800 megawatts.

During last year’s campaign, Baker signed an ELM pledge committing to ensure delivery of the full 1,600 megawatts of offshore wind authorized under the 2016 law — including the second 800 megawatt procurement by June — and to complete a study by May 2019 of an additional 1,600 megawatts of offshore wind power that the Legislature authorized, but did not mandate, in a 2018 law.

Original story here.

State awards New Bedford Port Authority, UMass Dartmouth combined $390K

BOSTON — The state awarded $6.4 million in grants Wednesday, including $390,000 for projects in SouthCoast for revitalization and business development.

Seaport Economic Council grants awarded include $150,000 for the creation of a regional marine science and technology collaborative to encourage growth in relevant industries at UMass Dartmouth and the SouthCoast Development Partnership and $240,000 for planning of the redevelopment of a waterfront property in New Bedford.

“This region’s historic connection to the ocean is a powerful unifying asset,” said Hugh Dunn, Executive Director of Economic Development at UMD, in a statement. “This project is designed to identify and marshal our marine economy assets to expand economic opportunity. To date, nothing of this scale has been executed on the Atlantic Coast.”

The funding will create an environment where relevant regional institutions, businesses, and universities can collaboratively develop the Southeastern Massachusetts Marine Science and Technology Corridor, according to a news release.

“I want to thank the Baker-Polito Administration for supporting UMass Dartmouth and our region as we develop our blue economy corridor from Rhode Island to Cape Cod,” said UMD Chancellor Robert E. Johnson in a statement. “In awarding this grant, the Seaport Economic Council is demonstrating the Commonwealth’s commitment to an industry sector that can transform our economy.”