The Maritime Port Council of the Greater Boston and New England Area
has been working behind the scenes for more than a decade to make sure
union members would install and maintain offshore wind energy projects
in their region.
The council’s efforts paid off March 31 when Vineyard Wind announced
its venture to build a windfarm 15 miles off the coast of Martha’s
Vineyard, MA. The project will employ union workers and sail Jones
DEME Offshore US LLC will serve as the contractor for the offshore
transportation and installation of wind turbine generators for the
nation’s first large-scale offshore wind energy project, known as
Vineyard Wind I. Union-contracted FOSS Maritime will provide the Jones
Act-compliant vessels, moving cargo from the port of New Bedford, MA.
“This announcement is great news for our region and, in particular,
the hard-working men and women in the maritime trades,” stated PMC
President Gerard Dhooge.
“We have a once in a generation opportunity to create a new industry
that will help middle-class families and those trying to make it to
the middle class. With partners like Vineyard Wind, DEME Offshore and
FOSS Maritime partnering with organized labor, we can and will create
a more prosperous future for people in the New Bedford region and
throughout Massachusetts,” added Dhooge.
Lars T. Pedersen, Vineyard Wind CEO, said, “We’re very excited to make
this announcement not only because it’s an important step in the
development of our first project but also because of the impact it
will have on the U.S. workforce. The offshore wind industry has
tremendous potential to create good-paying jobs and investment
opportunities while also reducing carbon pollution.”
DEME Offshore Director Jan Klaussen noted, “Our method is Jones Act
compliant, driven by high-tech engineering, patented solutions and
special adaptions to both companies’ vessels for this project. The
deployment of the U.S. feeder concept by the DEME Offshore/FOSS
Maritime team will create a great opportunity for U.S. mariners to get
familiar with the offshore wind industry.”
Vineyard Wind I has the potential to generate 800 megawatts, enough to
power more than 400,000 homes. It is expected to start delivering
energy in 2023.