Offshore wind developer’s win will bring workforce, supply chain, and economic development as well as deliver low cost clean energy to thousands of electricity customers
BOSTON and FALL RIVER, MA – DECEMBER 17, 2021 – SouthCoast Wind, the developer of an offshore wind energy project, today announced it was awarded a 400 megawatt (MW) power purchase agreement by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and its three biggest utilities as part of Massachusetts’ 83C III offshore wind energy procurement. Combined with its 804MW PPA from 83C II, the project will now provide more than 1200MW of clean energy to electricity customers throughout Massachusetts and New England.
“SouthCoast Wind is looking forward to delivering low-cost renewable energy to residents and businesses throughout Massachusetts,” said Michael Brown, CEO of SouthCoast Wind. “And we are committed to investing in our local communities and being an engine for economic and workforce development.”
The win is accompanied by an economic development package that includes commitments to spend up to $42.3 million, including $27 million over 10 years to the SouthCoast Community Foundation [press release]. The total package will support the building of the offshore wind supply chain; provide for education and training of an offshore wind workforce; make significant investments in local ports, businesses, and infrastructure; as well as offer diversity, equity, and inclusion measures that include the hiring of specialized firms and support for low-income electric consumers, among other measures.
“As we work to anchor our Commonwealth’s emerging offshore wind industry to the SouthCoast, today’s news is a definitive game-changer and the successful result of our collective work to date,” said State Senator, Michael J. Rodrigues (D-Westport, 1st Bristol & Plymouth District), Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. “With this announcement, SouthCoast Wind will now combine the power of their two historic power purchase agreements and move forward with fulfilling its commitments to significantly invest in our communities, including the establishment of a major operations center on the Fall River waterfront and the strengthening of partnerships with Gladding-Hearn Shipyard of Somerset and the SouthCoast Community Foundation to create jobs and grow workforce development opportunities, ensuring the impact of this industry’s growing presence reverberates through our region for many, many years to come. Moving forward, I am committed to continuing to partner with SouthCoast Wind for the benefit of our SouthCoast communities, residents and businesses as we create green jobs and secure our clean energy future.”
SouthCoast Wind also recently announced [press release] that it signed an agreement with Gladding-Hearn of Somerset, MA to design and build a crew transfer vessel.
“As a long-time proponent of offshore wind energy, I could not be happier to see SouthCoast Wind gain a strong foothold on the SouthCoast,” State Rep. Patricia Haddad (D-Somerset, 5th Bristol District). “With the manufacture of next-generation of high-tech crew transfer vessels, the repowering of Brayton Point, the transformation of our maritime economy, among other investments in our local communities, the future looks bright.”
Brown added, “This win is the result of the extraordinary collaboration between our team and the many communities and stakeholders we have worked with. It also reaffirms the quality and competitiveness of our bid.”
Subject to future investment decision, the company will construct wind turbines in federal waters far out in the Atlantic Ocean. When operational in the mid-2020’s the first 804MW of the project will produce enough electricity to power nearly half a million homes annually. When fully built out, SouthCoast Wind estimates the project will eliminate up to 4 million metric tons of greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere each year.
The SouthCoast Wind project helps Massachusetts’ to reach its clean energy goals of net zero emissions in 2050. Overall, renewables are the U.S.’s fastest-growing energy sources, increasing by nearly 100% over the last 20 years.
SouthCoast Wind’s outreach office is in Fall River, close to their new O&M port and a short commute to the home dock of crew transfer vessel at the New Bedford waterfront. The company plans on two interconnection points, one in Falmouth, MA and the other at Brayton Point in Somerset, MA using assets developed by Anbaric of Wakefield, MA.
South Coast Influencers on SouthCoast Wind
“The success of the offshore wind industry is of enormous importance to New Bedford and the South Coast. Realizing its full benefit requires the commitment and cooperation of many different stakeholders – New Bedford, the developers, the state, institutions of higher education, and, of course, the local workers who will be the backbone of these projects,” said State Rep. Antonio Cabral (D-New Bedford, 13th Bristol District). “We look forward to working closely with SouthCoast Wind to enhance our ability to compete globally and attract new supply chain businesses to support the growing offshore wind industry.”
“The emergence of the offshore wind industry and SouthCoast Wind in particular, will create thousands of jobs in our communities,” said State Rep. Carole Fiola (D-Fall River, 6th Bristol). “SouthCoast Wind’s commitment to workforce development will help the SouthCoast be prepared to meet future needs for construction, engineering, transportation and other maritime jobs.
“Fall River is a strong community with great potential. SouthCoast Wind clearly sees that our future is bright and is making significant investments in our community. From their office on South Main to their O&M port at Borden & Remington and the tens of millions of dollars in support of education and training and supply chain growth – Fall River is poised to benefit city-wide and our residents – all of our residents – can celebrate in the new jobs and opportunities that the offshore wind industry promises to bring.” – Paul Coogan, Mayor, City of Fall River
About SouthCoast Wind
SouthCoast Wind, a 50/50 joint venture between Shell New Energies US LLC and Ocean Winds, is developing an offshore wind lease area with the potential to supply over 2,000 megawatts (MW) of low-cost clean energy to electricity customers in New England. SouthCoast Wind is committed to zero harm, innovation, and industry development, and investing in our local communities.