Vineyard Wind, a joint venture between Avangrid Renewables and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, has entered an agreement with Crowley Maritime Corporation and Salem, Massachusetts to create a public-private partnership aimed at establishing Salem Harbor as the state’s second major offshore wind port.

Credit: Crowley Maritime Corporation

The agreement, part of the “Commonwealth Wind” proposal, is contingent upon the company winning an award by the state, which is currently evaluating offshore wind procurement bids. Vineyard Wind estimates that the project would create up to an estimated 900 full-time-equivalent job years.

“As offshore wind continues to expand, new purpose-built ports will be key to the success of this industry. By constructing the nation’s first purpose-built offshore wind port in New Bedford, Massachusetts has been leading the way. With a new offshore wind port in Salem, the Commonwealth can ensure that it is ready to face the demands of a rapidly growing industry,” said Lars T. Pedersen, CEO of Vineyard Wind. “With both New Bedford and Salem capable of delivering port operations needed for offshore wind, the state can ensure that both the South Coast and the North Shore can benefit from the creation of new, highly skilled and good paying jobs, something that will cement Massachusetts’ position as a leader in the new and growing offshore wind industry.”

Crowley will purchase the 42 acres surrounding Salem Harbor Station, currently owned by Footprint Power, and will serve as the long-term offshore wind port operator for the site. Vineyard Wind’s partners (Avangrid Renewables & CIP) will serve as the port’s anchor tenants, using the property for the Commonwealth Wind project as well as other projects in the company’s portfolio.

“This partnership is a great example of how sites that once supported coal can be transformed into sustainable infrastructure to support the vital clean energy transition,” said Bill White, head of offshore wind for Avangrid Renewables. “Commonwealth Wind is a transformational project that will create good jobs, economic opportunity and clean electricity for Massachusetts, facilitated by this important partnership with the [cities] of Salem and Crowley.”

The Commonwealth Wind project intends to use the site for turbine assembly and staging activities, using the site to store and assemble components — including blades, nacelles and tower sections — as they are prepared for offshore installation. Given Salem Harbor’s deep-water port and unrestricted height access to accommodate large-scale wind turbine installation vessels, Vineyard Wind sees Salem Harbor as a necessary addition to support the offshore wind industry within the Commonwealth and across the region.

“This partnership reinforces Crowley’s position as a total lifecycle service provider in the offshore wind sector,” said Jeff Andreini, VP of Crowley New Energy. “We look forward to working with Vineyard Wind and the City of Salem and providing the highest level of service in order to make Salem Harbor a leading provider in the offshore wind supply chain.”

Both Vineyard Wind and Crowley will work alongside Salem to engage in community outreach to seek input and build support for the development, safeguarding the city’s long-term interests, identifying local supply chain and workforce development opportunities.

“I am so pleased to welcome Vineyard Wind and Crowley Maritime here to Salem,” said Mayor Kimberley Driscoll. “For centuries, when Salem looked toward its future, it looked toward the sea. This site, in particular, has provided the electricity that has powered our community and our Commonwealth for generations. Today, with this announcement, that legacy can continue with a new focus on a clean energy future, based on renewable power and with a shared commitment to positive action to mitigate climate change.”

News item from Crowley

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