Vineyard Wind, a joint venture between Avangrid Renewables and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), says Avangrid Renewables plans to build an offshore wind control center in New Bedford. The proposal is the latest initiative announced under the company’s Commonwealth Wind proposal, which was submitted for consideration in September.

Modeled on the work of Avangrid Renewables’ National Control Center for onshore renewable assets, the center will be a state-of-the-art facility that will provide remote control for the turbines, electrical service platforms and other offshore/onshore assets. The center will also serve as a hub for coordination between operations and maintenance (O&M) vessels and organizations like the United States Coast Guard, in addition to being an interface for working with regional transmission organizations like ISO-NE.

“The establishment of an offshore wind control center in New Bedford further strengthens the city’s status as a leader in this industry,” says Bill White, president and CEO for offshore at Avangrid Renewables. “The facility anchors Avangrid Renewables long-term O&M operations in New Bedford as we build out our offshore wind portfolio and help launch a new industry.”

Construction of the facility is expected to create approximately 20 jobs. Once the facility is operational in 2024, it will create up to a dozen highly skilled, good-paying, long-term jobs that will exist throughout the 25-year lifespan of the project. Development of the center is contingent on Commonwealth Wind being selected by the state in the most recent round of solicitation for offshore wind energy.

“We’re excited to continue to build upon the tremendous work that so many throughout the city and state have done to make New Bedford synonymous with offshore wind,” states Vineyard Wind CEO Lars T. Pedersen. “From the recently announced partnership with Semco Maritime to the establishment of this control center, the City of New Bedford is increasingly becoming a crucial part of this industry’s DNA. If the Commonwealth Wind proposal is selected by the state, this facility will create jobs that will last a generation or more, creating opportunities for people that can help families build a better life.”

Commonwealth Wind is a newly proposed offshore wind project submitted to Massachusetts’ third competitive offshore wind solicitation. If awarded, Commonwealth Wind will be developed in an area 22 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard that was designated by the federal government in 2015 following a multi-year stakeholder process. Commonwealth Wind can deliver up to 1,200 MW of clean and affordable energy to Massachusetts.

“If an operations control center were established here, it would help to solidify New Bedford’s status as the center of an offshore wind cluster,” mentions New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell. “Avangrid Renewables is an international wind energy leader, and a long-term commitment to New Bedford would be welcomed.”

This post appeared first on North American Windpower.

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