- Innovation & Applied Research
- Workforce Development
- Ports and Infrastructure
- Low-Income Ratepayer Support
The coastal states of New England have a long history of incubating new industries and technologies, built on its high quality, highly- educated workforce, world-class educational and research institutions, and forward-looking public policies. The intellectual capital of the Commonwealth’s research centers and universities, specifically in science, engineering, and policy disciplines, is a driver of critical knowledge-creation and innovation essential to advancing the offshore wind sector.
SouthCoast Wind is committed to investing in entrepreneurial initiatives that spur new technologies, services, and businesses as part of a regional Blue Economy approach.
We have invested in the applied research and academic-capacity building efforts of the Massachusetts Research Partnership in Offshore Wind and its affiliate institutions, which includes the University of Massachusetts campuses in Amherst, Boston, Dartmouth, and Lowell; Massachusetts Maritime Academy; Bristol Community College; Tufts and Northeastern Universities; and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
SouthCoast Wind is proud to support several innovation initiatives with our academic partners in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, including Roger William University’s Blue Tech Challenge: Innovating for a Sustainable Coastal Future.
In 2020, we cost-shared the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s awarding of $1.3 million in grants for offshore wind workforce training and development that serve workers throughout the Commonwealth. SouthCoast Wind participated in the grant review process and shared the cost of the awards as part of our commitment to build a skilled future offshore wind workforce. The scope of the grants covered health, safety, and technical training; offshore wind vocational school dual enrollment; training and certification for organized labor unions and commercial fishermen interested in offshore wind; and continued build-out of higher education pathways for students interested in offshore wind.
SouthCoast Wind has signed an agreement with the North American Building Trades Unions and the United Brotherhood of Carpenters regarding the onshore and offshore construction work for the SouthCoast project. The partnership will help build the next generation of highly skilled offshore wind workers. Further, SouthCoast Wind has committed to locate our operations & maintenance (O&M) jobs and base in Massachusetts, with at least 75% of O&M jobs hired locally.
SouthCoast Wind and RPS are working together to provide local Native American communities with cost-free training and all certifications required to work as a Protected Species Observer (PSO). The program kicked off in Summer 2022 and two graduates have been deployed on SouthCoast Wind’s offshore survey program. Go to the PSO Training Program event page to learn more and sign up for this upcoming year.
Investing in the ports and coastal infrastructure of Southeastern Massachusetts will build the foundation for the offshore wind industry. SouthCoast Wind is committed to locating port facility operations in locations that offer cost-effective returns for the project while supporting the SouthCoast region’s long-term growth and development goals.
SouthCoast Wind’s operations & maintenance (O&M) base will be a new landmark on the Fall River waterfront, providing an anchor for offshore wind related development. We intend to redevelop six acres of land on the Fall River waterfront to accommodate and support continuous 24/7 operations. Facilities will be equipped with a shoreside cargo crane for lifting of large wind turbine components.
All O&M jobs will be based at the Fall River facility, though the majority of personnel will travel out to the offshore wind lease area regularly, either on the Fall River based service operations vessel (SOVs), on which workers live on-board for weeks at a time, or the New Bedford based crew transfer vessels (CTVs) that will shuttle back and forth on a daily basis.
SouthCoast Wind has also signed a lease agreement to utilize the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal as the primary staging and deployment base during the project’s construction.
By delivering low-cost, clean energy with a stable fixed price, the project will provide energy cost savings to all residential and business ratepayers and help reduce the energy burden of low-income ratepayers. SouthCoast Wind is partnering with local organizations on Cape Cod and the SouthCoast to support additional programs that focus on low-income ratepayers.
On Cape Cod, SouthCoast Wind is committed to support the operations of the Cape Light Compact JPE, the energy services organization operated by the twenty-one towns on Cape Cod and Dukes County (Martha’s Vineyard). This funding will be directed towards Cape Light initiatives that optimize customers’ energy usage and lower electric bills for low-income households, specifically those with annual incomes of less than 80 percent of the state median income, through solar PV, behind-the-meter battery storage, and incentives to switch from heating oil, propane, or electric baseboard heat to high-efficiency air source heat pumps.
On the SouthCoast, we are committed to the Buzzards Bay Habitat for Humanity in its efforts to improve access to low-energy, affordable housing for low-income families.
As an initial element in this effort, SouthCoast Wind has contributed $50,000 to Buzzards Bay Habitat for Humanity towards the construction of a two-family house in Westport, Massachusetts. In the Spring of 2022, SouthCoast Wind held a Volunteer Day, at which SouthCoast Wind team members had the opportunity to help build the Westport project.
SouthCoast Wind is donating an additional $450,000 to support Buzzards Bay Habitat for Humanity’s first Habitat ReStore on the SouthCoast. Habitat ReStores are a store and donation center, where donated good are sold to others at a fraction of the retail price while keeping items out of the landfill.