More offshore wind action: Deepwater Wind opening New Bedford office, OffshoreMW survey boat arriving

Source: By Mike Lawrence, South Coast Today • Posted: Friday, September 23, 2016

NEW BEDFORD — Action in the offshore wind industry continued to pop Tuesday, as Deepwater Wind announced a downtown New Bedford office and a survey boat for OffshoreMW was expected to arrive at the Marine Commerce Terminal.

Rhode Island-based Deepwater Wind and New Jersey-based OffshoreMW are two of the three companies seeking to develop large-scale wind turbine farms in leased federal waters about 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard. The third is Denmark-based DONG Energy, known in Massachusetts as Bay State Wind.

Deepwater Wind’s announcement of a downtown New Bedford office represents the first direct, local commercial investment of the offshore wind industry. The industry is rapidly emerging in the city following last month’s adoption of a state energy bill that requires purchases of offshore wind power over the next decade.

Deepwater Wind’s office will be at 555 Pleasant St., on the top floor of the five-story, historic Standard-Times building downtown. The company will hold an open house at the new office next month, a Deepwater press release said.

The company’s Massachusetts vice president is Matthew Morrissey, a former economic development director for New Bedford and the first director of the city’s Wind Energy Center, formed in 2013.

“We’re putting our Massachusetts project into high gear, and opening our office in New Bedford is an important next step,” Deepwater Wind CEO Jeffrey Grybowski said. “With Matt at the helm, we’ll be working side-by-side with the leadership of the City of New Bedford to help build this new local industry.”

New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell said the office will be “a great boon to New Bedford’s downtown business district.”

Deepwater Wind recently completed installation of a five-turbine, 30-megawatt pilot project off Block Island, and is calling its potential Massachusettts project Deepwater ONE. The company’s lease area spans 256 square miles of ocean, about halfway between Martha’s Vineyard and Montauk, N.Y.

OffshoreMW announced last month that its proposed project is called Vineyard Wind, and will be backed by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners in Denmark.

OffshoreMW’s executive vice president, Erich Stephens, said a survey vessel for the company was expected to arrive Tuesday at the Marine Commerce Terminal, on the city’s southern waterfront. The $113 million, state-funded facility is expected to serve as a staging facility for offshore wind development.

Stephens said the vessel, named the Shearwater, likely would be at the terminal through Friday before departing for survey work in OffshoreMW’s lease area.

The RV Ocean Researcher arrived at the terminal last month to conduct survey work for Bay State Wind.

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