A proposal, if implemented, would build a new wind turbine manufacturing plant and shipping port in New Bedford, Massachusetts, specifically for offshore wind energy projects, according to the Boston Globe.
City and state officials have set aside $35 million to develop a 26-acre site on the city's working waterfront. The proposed development, once completed, would supply the parts for the 130-turbine Cape Wind project and other projects off the Massachusetts coast and throughout the Atlantic seaboard, the Globe reported.
“We want to establish ourselves as the go-to port for wind energy assembly,” Jon Mitchell, New Bedford's mayor, said to the paper.
New Bedford officials hope to establish the location as the go-to spot for offshore wind energy development, even though the United States currently has zero offshore wind farms. However, two in New England - Cape Wind in Massachusetts and the Block Island Wind Farm off Rhode Island's coast - are scheduled to begin construction next year, the Globe reported.
Plus, the East Coast has great potential for future offshore wind development. Massachusetts alone could generate about 800,000 gigawatts from its offshore winds, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
In order for the New Bedford facility to be built, the site needs to pass an Environmental Protection Agency inspection. The proposed manufacturing plant and port would also have to compete with other facilities being considered in Rhode Island, New Jersey and Delaware, the newspaper reported. Still, city and state officials said New Bedford's existing port infrastructure, plus the country's offshore wind potential, makes this an ideal proposal.
“Offshore wind is going to be [generating] explosive job growth,” Mitchell said. “The goal is to maximize the yield of this new industry to New Bedford.”