Janet Coit, head of the top fisheries agency, was invited to the closed-door meeting with a diverse coalition of industry leaders, scientists and city officials at a pivotal moment for the nation’s top-earning commercial fishing port.
A proposed judgment filed by General Electric and Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy late Thursday evening would preserve GE’s agreement to sell 62 turbines to Vineyard Wind for its project, set to begin construction at sea next year.
The Foss Marine Terminal, at the site of the old Cannon Street power station, will become the second offshore wind staging area on New Bedford’s waterfront. It is slated to open in March 2023.
A report released by the Save Right Whales Coalition catalogs $4.2 million between offshore wind developers to such groups as the Environmental League of Massachusetts, New England Aquarium and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.
The terminal is slated to open in March 2023, and will provide storage, laydown yards for equipment and materials, berth facilities for tug and barge operations, host crew transfer vessels and service operation vessel support services.
The risk of a barge striking the barrier gates is rare, according to a 2021 report based on simulations. But the potential damage that could occur from an accident raises “great concern.”
New Bedford will benefit greatly from the legislation, with “increased high-paying jobs and workforce training initiatives; a procurement process that prioritizes economic development and diversity, equity, and inclusion; and a commitment to protect the fishing industry and coastal environment.” said state Rep. Antonio F.D. Cabral
The bill would change how the state procures electricity, create new tax credits and incentives for offshore wind companies, impose new environmental and fishing-related requirements on offshore wind projects, encourage modernizing the electrical grid, and jumpstart training programs for offshore wind jobs.
“We had a tremendous advantage, and it is beginning to slip. We’re hoping to create an industry and we just had two companies bid … That’s why we’re doing this, we want that universe to get bigger.” — House Speaker Ron Mariano
“The fishing industry supports strong action on climate change, but not at the expense of the ocean, its inhabitants, and sustainable domestic seafood,” said Annie Hawkins, executive director of the Responsible Offshore Development Alliance.