In this issue:
U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Opens Public Comment Period on Mayflower Wind’s Offshore Wind Project
The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has taken the major step of announcing its “Notice of Intent” to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the SouthCoast Wind Project. The project will be located deep offshore and will deliver clean renewable energy to Massachusetts residents and businesses via grid connections in the towns of Falmouth and Somerset, Massachusetts.
During the 30-day scoping period, which begins November 1, BOEM will host three virtual meetings, November 10, 15, and 18 to provide the public with an opportunity to learn more about Mayflower Wind’s Construction and Operations Plan, ask questions, and provide oral comments. BOEM has set up a web page with full details and relevant documents at https://www.boem.gov/renewable-energy/state-activities/mayflower-wind.
“As we continue our efforts to secure a clean energy future for our Commonwealth, today’s BOEM announcement places Mayflower Wind one step closer to ensuring the offshore wind industry is firmly anchored to the SouthCoast,” said State Senator Michael J. Rodrigues (D – Westport), Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. “The emergence of the offshore wind industry, and Mayflower Wind in particular, will create thousands of jobs in our communities, building our next great maritime economic enterprise. Mayflower Wind’s partnership with the Gladding-Hearn Shipyard of Somerset will enable a local, family-owned business to build the next-generation of high-tech crew transfer vessels, while their plans to bring a major operations center to the Fall River waterfront will create a new economic development anchor. Finally, their planned partnership with the SouthCoast Community Foundation is a game-changer that has the potential to infuse tens of millions to support supply chain and workforce development opportunities with a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion. I would encourage everyone to participate in BOEM’s upcoming ‘scoping’ sessions and speak to the benefits that Mayflower Wind will bring to our SouthCoast communities.”
Michael Brown, CEO of Mayflower Wind, said these scoping meetings mark an important milestone in the project’s path to full federal licensing. “The Mayflower Wind team has worked hard to provide the federal government with detailed information on our project so they can determine the merits of our plan,” he said. “Obtaining a federal permit will allow us to safely provide clean energy to nearly one million Massachusetts residents and businesses which will help to mitigate the effects of climate change that threaten our environment,” he added.
“The Cape & Islands are home to Massachusetts’ nation leading offshore wind industry,” said State Representative Dylan Fernandes (D-Falmouth). “The grid interconnection here will allow the whole state to benefit from the clean energy generated by Mayflower Wind and other offshore wind projects. Our region is already experiencing some of the most damaging impacts of climate change making it imperative that we transition to clean energy so that future generations can call the Cape and Islands home, ” he added.
Building SouthCoast Workforce and Supply Chain Opportunities with The SouthCoast Fund
Mayflower Wind and the SouthCoast Community Foundation have announced their intentions to establish “The SouthCoast Fund,” a stakeholder advised fund aimed at building inclusive, equitable and diverse employment, training and supply chain opportunities related to the offshore wind industry in the Southeastern Massachusetts region. Mayflower Wind will devote between $27 million and $47.5 million to the Fund, depending on the size of the contract awarded in the ongoing Massachusetts 83C III offshore wind energy procurement process.
The SouthCoast Fund will be managed by the SouthCoast Community Foundation, and will be guided by consultation with key stakeholders from across the region, including state and municipal development authorities, labor groups, academic institutions, business associations, and diversity, equity, and inclusion NGOs, among others.
The Fund will have two primary focus areas: Workforce Training, and Supply Chain. The workforce, education and training component will provide resources for local, nonprofit educational institutions such as vocational and technical schools and community colleges to create paid training, internship, and apprenticeship programs to support workforce development. The supply chain component will utilize municipal officials, state economic development authorities and departments, the Massachusetts Supplier Diversity Office, and other key stakeholders to identify and fund nonprofit based projects, programs, and initiatives that build employment and economic development opportunities on the SouthCoast related to the offshore wind industry. These economic development activities and investments will span the SouthCoast Community Foundation service area which includes Greater New Bedford, Greater Fall River, Southern Plymouth County and in total 41 cities and towns across four counties of Southeastern Massachusetts.
Mayflower Wind is looking forward to launching the SouthCoast Fund and contributing further to workforce and economic development on Massachusetts’s SouthCoast. Stay tuned for additional announcements about the SouthCoast Fund, and in the meantime, you can find more information on this recent announcement here.
Gladding-Hearn of Somerset, MA to Design & Build Industry-Leading Vessel for Mayflower Wind
Mayflower Wind proudly announced the signing of an agreement with Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding/Duclos Corporation of Somerset, MA for the specification, design, and manufacture of an industry-leading hybrid battery diesel electric crew transfer vessel (CTV).
This Jones Act-compliant vessel will utilize cutting edge technology, such as the use of Lithium-Ion battery energy storage, to significantly reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, bringing the industry one step closer to full fleet electrification. In addition to Gladding-Hearn, this multi-party agreement includes several other maritime industry-leading collaborators from across the globe such as Incat Crowther (Australia/UK/Lafayette, LA), BAR Technologies (UK), Corvus Energy (Norway), and ABS (Spring, TX) and will proceed if Mayflower is awarded a contract under the latest Massachusetts procurement for offshore wind.
Gladding-Hearn has constructed more than 430 vessels in its 66-year history, and is the nation’s leading builder of offshore pilot boats, which transfer harbor pilots to and from ships in extreme conditions. In addition to designing and building what may be the most innovative and fuel-efficient CTV in the United States, Gladding-Hearn looks forward to this opportunity to break into the offshore wind industry: “With our location and experienced team at Gladding-Hearn, we are ready to serve the offshore wind market. We’ve been working to make it happen since the early days of Cape Wind. We’re glad to finally see it come to fruition with Mayflower Wind” said Peter Duclos, President of Gladding-Hearn.
Michael Brown, CEO of Mayflower Wind, noted that by encouraging local shipyards such as Gladding-Hearn to establish themselves as ship builders for the offshore wind industry, Mayflower Wind is working to foster a local maritime supply chain. Brown emphasized, “This is not just an agreement with a local shipyard – it is integration of that shipyard into a collaboration with the most sophisticated and capable technology providers and designers in the world, moving this key local supplier to the forefront of its industry and setting them in a position to compete successfully on the global stage”.
Design of the vessel would occur during 2022-2023, setting the stage for building and launching the hybrid CTV in the mid 2020’s, timing that would fit well with the start of operation of wind turbines by Mayflower Wind. To learn more about this agreement and the industry leaders involved, see our recent press release.
Storm Damage Forces Cancellation of Mayflower Wind Cape Cod Marathon
The 2021 Mayflower Wind Cape Cod Marathon Weekend, scheduled to take place from October 30-31 in Falmouth, MA, was unfortunately canceled in response to unforeseen hazards created by the extreme weather the region received late last week. The town of Falmouth and the surrounding area experienced a major storm that resulted in severe loss of power, downed trees and flooding. Following discussions with town officials, it was determined for the safety of everyone involved that the weekend’s events be cancelled until further notice.
Our condolences go out to the impacted community, and all those that were looking forward to the Mayflower Wind Cape Cod Marathon Weekend events. Ongoing discussions are taking place regarding what options the runners will have, and whether or not the event will be rescheduled for a later date. Stay tuned for updates as decisions are made, and we hope to see you all in the near future!
Insights from Cape Cod Climate Change Collaborative’s Net Zero 2021 Virtual Conference
On October 29th, Mayflower Wind participated in Cape Cod Climate Change Collaborative’s “Net Zero 2021” virtual conference. This valuable event brought together local leaders, scientists, policy makers, clean energy providers, and advocates from around the region to discuss exciting new federal, state, and regional climate legislation and initiatives, as well as examine the actions necessary to achieve net zero emissions in the Cape & Islands region and beyond.
At the event, Mayflower Wind External Affairs Senior Advisor Seth Kaplan took part in a panel discussion titled “Pillar III – Decarbonizing Energy Supply: Winning with Wind!” focusing on the role that offshore wind power can play in meeting the climate protection goals of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The discussion was moderated by Paul Niedzwiecki – CEO of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce and featured other notable industry representatives.
Mayflower Wind is proud to have been involved in this exciting event, and be given the opportunity to contribute to such important conversations. If you’re interested in learning more about the Cape Cod Climate Change Collaborative and the meaningful work they do in the Cape & Islands region, we encourage you to visit their website.
Surveys Continue Data Collection into Fall
Vessels are continuing to conduct geophysical & geotechnical (G&G) surveys within federal and state waters in Mount Hope Bay, Sakonnet River, and Rhode Island Sound. G&G surveys provide critical data about the seafloor and subsea conditions for evaluation in the project design and permitting process.
We post weekly updates to the survey area and vessel operating schedule on our Mariners page. We encourage boaters to maintain a safe distance of 0.5 nm from the vessels as their maneuverability may be significantly restricted.
Real Time Metocean Data Available
Mayflower Wind has partnered with the Northeastern Regional Association of Coastal Ocean Observing Systems (NERACOOS) to share real-time weather and ocean data collected by the buoy for mariners and the scientific community to use. NERACOOS mission is to produce, integrate, and communicate high quality information that helps ensure safety, economic and environmental resilience, and sustainable use of the coastal ocean. Mayflower Wind’s floating buoy data will help to support these efforts and help to inform other research efforts in the Atlantic region. Visit NERACOOS to view the data!