Baker: US offshore wind supply chain gaining traction
Says companies starting to think beyond a single bid
GOV. CHARLIE BAKER said the state’s latest offshore wind procurement shows the industry is moving into a new phase geared toward building an American supply chain.
“It speaks to two things,” Baker said. “One is there is a belief at this point that the federal administration is rowing in the same direction as the rest of us with respect to getting a lot of this work done. Number two, there’s tremendous enthusiasm for these projects at the state level all the way up and down the East Coast. And I think people at this point are very anxious to put the infrastructure in place that they’re going to need not just to do the one thing that might be part of that bid but to think bigger about how this might serve a larger strategy up and down the coast.”
The Massachusetts procurement, the state’s third, was split between the companies that won the first two procurements — Avangrid Renewables won 1,200 megawatts with its Commonwealth Wind project and Mayflower Wind won a 400 megawatt deal.
The two companies say their projects will come with significant onshore investment, including a subsea cable manufacturing facility and a electric converter station at Brayton Point in Somerset, a 42-acre offshore wind staging area in Salem, and assorted other investments in New Bedford and Fall River.
By promising to use Prysmian as the supplier for Commonwealth Wind and another Avangrid project off of Connecticut called Park City Wind, White convinced the Milan-based company to open a plant with 200 workers at Brayton Point.“That gives them the certainty they need and they can see the pipeline ahead,” White said, referring to a host of offshore wind farms in development up and down the East Coast.
Baker said he’s excited industry players are starting to look beyond a single bid. “What you now have is an industry that’s starting to think about the buildout of a gigawatt system of deepwater wind up and down the East Coast,” he said. “I think it’s a really positive sign not just for that bid but for the next one that’s going to come after that as well.”