Offshore wind industry opens shop in New Bedford

New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell (above) welcomed Deepwater Wind’s opening of its Massachusetts headquarters in the former Standard-Times building downtown Friday, saying the city “wants to be the center of it all” as offshore wind matures into a new base industry for the Commonwealth.

“We want the offshore wind industry to form a cluster here,” he said, adding that New Bedford wants not only the assembly and deployment business, and  manufacturing and support services.

“But we also want the front office as well,” he said, as is the case with New Bedford’s top-grossing fishing industry, which brings together labor, capital and research (from the UMass School for Marine Science and Technology).

“We’re not going just to be the city of big shoulders in the offshore wind industry…*(but) the city with the brains and capital as well,” Mitchell said.

Jeff Grybowski (below), the CEO of Deepwater, which last year built the first offshore wind farm in the US off Block Island and next will build a 90MW wind farm off eastern Long Island, said the company has “a string of projects we hope to build in the US in the coming decade.

“New Bedford has always been at the center of our strategy for building out this industry,” he said.

Deepwater Wind’s New Bedford office opens Friday

Deepwater Wind, the successful developer of the first US offshore wind farm, will officially open an office in New Bedford on Friday.

The company is opening southeastern Massachusetts headquarters on the top floor of the historic Standard-Times building, 555 Pleasant St. Deepwater Wind’s Massachusetts vice president, Matthew Morrissey, said the company expects New Bedford — home to the nation’s only marine commerce terminal designed specifically to handle the enormous weight of wind turbine components — to play a central role in the buildout of the new offshore wind industry.

It’s been a busy period for the company. In addition to completing its Block Island project in 2016, Deepater Wind recently completed an agreement with a New York utility to build a 90 MW project off Long Island. It also plans to develop another wind project off Rhode Island and expects to be one of the bidders on a 400MW project that will be bid this spring off Massachusetts — part of a new energy law that requires Massachusetts utilities to purchase 1,600MW of power over the next decade.


New bakery brings artisan pastry to New Bedford

Posted Jan 21, 2017 at 5:41 PM

Brandon Roderick was already a city-boy-made-good before he opened New Bedford’s newest bakery on Dec. 30, but until he found baking, the 27-year-old was taking his hard work in the wrong direction.

He remembers vividly the moment when he decided he would cook for a living. He was a junior studying for a chemistry exam in the library at Tufts University, where he went pre-med on a full scholarship. Although he loved science, the New Bedford High School graduate realized he was happier at his weekend job, as a server at a Wareham restaurant, than he was preparing to be a doctor.

“It just felt so right to close the book and push it aside,” he said.

Right from the library, he called a culinary school and got the ball rolling.

Only later would he embrace the science of baking and make it his calling. His studies didn’t focus on baking, but his mentor would pull him in to work on bread, knowing his interest in science would serve him well. It piqued his interest.

Still, when he took his first job in a bakery, it was only to make extra money by working overnight, baking for the next morning. He soon discovered it was the environment for him.

He opened The Baker quietly, with a word-of-mouth campaign online and a collection of good friends by his side. His shop, at 562 Pleasant St., is tucked into a small storefront next to the downtown police station, just steps from the public library.

Roderick makes croissants filled with chocolate, fruit, and almonds, plus other pastries, English muffins, quiche, and more – all from scratch. Each day’s selection varies, and he likes to give familiar items a creative twist, like cinnamon rolls with orange and cardamom.

Some of his friends from Boston questioned whether he should locate in New Bedford, he said. Would people in a blue-collar town be willing to pay for French pastry, and would they even want it?

So far, locals have been very supportive, he said. The repertoire and the lines have been getting bigger.

A few customers have asked if he’ll make Portuguese malassadas and sweet bread. Roderick, who is Cape Verdean, does make those things, but not necessarily for the shop. New Bedford already has Portuguese sweets. His concept is French-inspired pastry, bread, and breakfast and lunch served on that bread.”Bread is my passion,” he said.

As time goes on, he wants to add more bread to the menu. His bread starter, a fresh leavening, has its own unique story: He made it from the yeast on grapes from Westport Rivers Winery. Every day, he feeds it with water and flour to keep it going. It’s about a year old already.

For now, he makes a lot of croissants with the help of “Old Faithful,” a dough sheeter, which rolls out dough into very thin sheets. He bought it used, from people in Needham who had purchased a bakery and had no idea what the machine was, he said. It’s so heavy, he had to rent a truck with a lift gate. He and Patrick Andrews, a friend since kindergarten, drove up to Needham to pick it up.

Andrews now works as a cook at the bakery, making sandwiches.

“I love it. I absolutely love it,” he said. “For the quality that he puts out, I think it’s a really good thing for the city, the community.”

Homlyke Bakery, once nearby on Union Street, closed in 2002.

Another childhood friend, Ashley Medeiros, helped with the decorating and has worked a few shifts in the shop. She said Roderick is well-educated on the French style.

“He’s worked so hard for so long to make this idea come to life,” she said.

His grandmother, Patricia Roderick of New Bedford, said she is very proud of him. When he first left Tufts, “I was very upset, because I thought I was going to have a doctor in the family,” she said. But as time went on, she saw he could make his dream a success.

“Brandon is the type that if he wants to do something, he’ll do it to the best of his ability,” she said. “That’s Brandon.”

Follow Jennette Barnes on Twitter @jbarnesnews.

If you go:

Where: 562 Pleasant St., New Bedford


Hours: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays to Fridays; 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays

Original Article here:



State decisions, not Donald Trump, will drive offshore wind

President-elect Donald Trump wants Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a friend of the fossil fuel industry, as his Energy Department secretary. What does that mean for renewable energy sources like offshore wind?

Energy policy under the Obama administration has meant a commitment to renewable sources like onshore and offshore wind to combat climate change, which Trump has said is a Chinese hoax. He also has said he would like to see a re-emergence of the coal industry.

So does that mean wind power is imperiled?

Not necessarily, according to supporters like Deepwater Wind’s Massachusetts Vice President Matthew Morrissey. His company just launched the first offshore wind project in the United States off Block Island and is interested in projects off Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, as well as  New York and Maryland.

The industry is seeking expansion of the investment tax credit to support new investment in land-based and offshore wind projects, and the New England congressional delegation could find allies in Plains state Republicans representing states where onshore wind already is well-established.

More significantly, however, individual state actions will drive the growth of offshore wind in the United States — regardless of who is in the White House, Morrissey said.


Learn what offshore wind means for New Bedford

Events are happening so quickly as  the new US offshore wind industry begins to take shape that it’s hard to keep up. It’s harder still to know what is happening here in New Bedford, which will be home port for much of the work as the industry builds out. Just what will happen here, when will it happen and what will all of that mean?

You’ll have a chance to find out about what offshore wind will mean for New Bedford and southeastern Massachusetts businesses and workers at a Feb. 9 breakfast conversation hosted by the New Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce.

The discussion will feature a panel including:

— Paul Vigeant, managing director of the New Bedford Wind Energy Center;

— Derek Santos, executive director of the New Bedford Economic Development Council;

— Ed Anthes-Washburn, director of the Port of New Bedford;

— Matthew Morrissey, Massachusetts vice president for Deepwater Wind, one of three developers looking to build wind farms south of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.

They’ll talk about what the building of an offshore wind industry will likely mean for New Bedford and other Massachusetts and Rhode Island coastal cities. Deepwater Wind recently began producing electrical power at its wind farm just off Block Island and is expected to bid next spring on  a contract to build 400 MW of power on leased federal ocean waters 15 to 25 miles off the Vineyard. The Port of New Bedford is home to the nation’s only Marine Commerce Terminal built especially to accommodate the assembly and shipping of enormous offshore wind turbine components, and the New Bedford Economic Development Council and the Port of New Bedford are deep into planning how best to accommodate and encourage the growth of the new industry.

The discussion is part of the Chamber’s popular Good Morning SouthCoast series and will be held at 7:30 a.m. at the Waypoint Convention Center at the Fairfield Inn & Suites, 185 MacArthur Dr, New Bedford. Contact the Chamber for reservations.


Deepwater Wind leading the way on offshore wind

Deepwater Wind, whose five-turbine wind farm off Block Island will come online this month, is moving quickly to establish itself as the early industry leader in the United States.
It’s one of three offshore wind developers expected to bid to build the first industrial-scale wind farm off the coast of Massachusetts. Deepwater Wind also is opening an office in New Bedford, whose Marine Commerce Terminal will be a primary site for assembling and transporting turbine components for 1,600 MW of wind power just south of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, as well as other projects along the East Coast

Matthew Morrissey is the Massachusetts vice president of Deepwater Wind, which is opening an office in New Bedford.

Matthew Morrissey is the Massachusetts vice president of Deepwater Wind, which is opening an office in New Bedford.

But Deepwater Wind, whose Massachusetts vice president is former New Bedford Wind Energy Director Matthew Morrissey, also recently acquired the lease for developing the 120 MW Skipjack wind project off the coast of Maryland and is hoping to build off Montauk Point, NY, as well as another project between Block Island and the Vineyard off the coast of Rhode Island.

Deepwater Wind’s Morrissey sees big things for his hometown

img_0052Matt Morrissey is a New Bedford guy through and through. He’s run for mayor, sat on the UMass Dartmouth board of trustees, headed the city economic development office and directed the New Bedford Wind Energy Center. When offshore wind captured his imagination five or six years ago, he saw it as a chance to help do something big for his hometown.

He helped form the Offshore Wind Massachusetts advocacy group that successfully made the case that offshore wind could help the commonwealth meet its green energy targets and build a brand new industry that would employ thousands of people in good jobs at high wages. As most people know, Gov. Charlie Baker signed energy legislation last August that required the state’s utilities to purchase energy produced by the three developers leasing federal waters for wind farms south of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.

Not long after, he went to work for one of those developers, Deepwater Wind, which recently finished building the first offshore wind farm in the United States. Deepwater and the other developers, Bay State Wind and Vineyard Wind, all are committed to using the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal to help support the construction of hundreds of immense wind turbines 15 to 25 miles off the coast.

Morrissey sees big things for his hometown. Listen to what he has to say about the advantages the Port of New Bedford enjoys has over anyplace else as the offshore wind industry  takes off over the next decade.

Fishermen helped in siting offshore wind farms

You can’t say that Massachusetts officials haven’t been engaged during the creation of the new offshore wind industry. Bill White of the Massachusetts

Bill White of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center told an audience in New Bedford that the state's first 1,600 MW of offshore wind will eliminate 2.4 million tons of greenhouse gases annually;

Bill White of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center told an audience in New Bedford that the state’s first 1,600 MW of offshore wind will eliminate 2.4 million tons of greenhouse gases annually;

Clean Energy Center told an audience of about 50 at the New Bedford Free Public Library that more than 100 meetings with citizens and stakeholders have been held since 2009.

The state created working groups on fisheries and habitat to ensure that the interests of both commercial fishermen and environmental advocates were taken into consideration in identifying the future sites of offshore wind farms south of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.

As a result of those conversations, the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management reduced the area leased to offshore wind developers Deepwater Wind, Bay State Wind and Vineyard Wind by 60 percent. Other conversation will guide the routes of buried electrical transmission lines under 6 to 12 feet of ocean floor.

“A lot of the changes (resulted from) the input of the commercial fishing industry,” White said.

Studies of marine species — including right whales and leatherback turtles — and birds like long-tailed ducks and white wing scoters that are frequent visitors to our waters are ongoing, and recommendations to regulate construction and location of wind turbines 15 to 25 miles south of the Vineyard are forthcoming, along with additional studies to help guide the process so that it works in the everyone’s best interests.

New Bedford Wind Energy Center Director Paul Vigeant is helping lead a study of workforce size and training needs for the new industry as it builds out over the next decade.

“Our goal is to know in four or five years that we have a ready workforce,” he said.

Bristol Community College, UMass Dartmouth and the Massachusetts Maritime Academy are participating in the study.




3,000 percent increase in offshore wind capacity?

The growth prospects for the offshore wind industry? How about a 3,000 percent increase by 2045?

That’s the forecast for growth by the International Renewable Energy Agency, which released a report that stated that technology improvements, along with the entry of the United States and India into the industry, will help drive the expansion.


Experienced marine workforce gives New Bedford the edge



It’s not just that New Bedford is located only half a day’s sale from the site of the new offshore wind farms that will be built just south of Martha’s Vineyard over the next decade, providing Massachusetts more than 10 percent of its power needs.  And it’s not just that the Port of New Bedford is home to the nation’s only Marine Commerce Terminal built specifically for the needs of the new industry.

New Bedford is also home to thousands of workers who have experience working in a marine environment and access to training programs that are already in place or being developed, A partnership involving Bristol Community College, UMass Dartmouth and the Mass. Maritime Academy is studying the types of jobs and skills that will be required and will help lay the groundwork for an integrated training program that can serve the new industry…and provide hundreds of new, good-paying jobs.

An ideal workforce will have “have this blend of technical skills that you can do in a marine environment,” said Paul Vigeant, the vice president for workforce development at Bristol Community College and the director of the New Bedford Wind Energy Center. “That differentiates New Bedford from any place in North America. . . .We have the individuals with the trade skills that can be applied in a marine environment.”

“It’s one thing to know how to fix an electrical machine. It’s another thing to be able to to fix it on  top of a 35-story building in the middle of the ocean.”