New Bedford Offshore Wind Terminal Plans Take Shape
NEW BEDFORD — Plans to turn the former Eversource site on New Bedford's waterfront into an offshore wind base and logistics facility are taking shape, after the sale of the property was announced Wednesday.
The 29-acre Sprague/Eversource site — located off MacArthur Drive just south of the downtown area — has been purchased in a joint venture between New Bedford's Cannon Street Holdings and Seattle-based shipping company Foss Maritime.
Foss will be partnering with Cannon Street to develop the site, which will be called the New Bedford Foss Marine Terminal, according to a statement from both companies.
The new terminal is slated to open in March 2023, with construction set to begin later this year.
New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell and other officials had announced the purchase and sale agreement along with plans for development of the site in July 2021.
Most of the property will be leveled to build marine industrial infrastructure — mostly offshore wind staging — with some seafood offloading and mixed-use commercial buildings, according to the plans announced last year.
Local marine industry attorney Andrew Saunders of Cannon Street Holdings will serve as president of the new marine terminal.
"It's a really big deal," noted Mitchell on his weekly WBSM segment Wednesday. "This is a major company moving right into the waterfront, at a place that as we all know has been more or less vacant for a long, long time."
As for pollution concerns, the mayor explained that the property's previous owners Sprague and Eversource have shelled out millions of dollars to decontaminate the site.
"A lot of cleanup has happened," he said, adding that because the future use will remain industrial, the cleanup standard is lower than for an aquarium or casino — both of which had previously been proposed.
Mitchell also noted that the development will help the city attract other major maritime and offshore wind companies.
"When you have these big anchor companies coming in, pardon the pun, it helps you bring in other investment too," he said. "This has been all part of our strategy all along."
The companies' statement noted that the site was chosen "for its proximity to offshore wind blocks" around 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.
According to the announcement, the New Bedford Foss Marine Terminal will provide storage and laydown yards for equipment and materials.
It will also house berth facilities for tug and barge operations along with host crew transfer vessel and service operation vessel support services.
Alongside the industrial facilities will be office spaces for workers and a marine coordination center for technicians involved in offshore wind projects.
“Today marks a big day for the Port of New Bedford and the city as a whole,” said Saunders. “The repurposing of this facility to support offshore wind has been a vision for many and it is great to see this project now begin to materialize."
Jason Childs, president and CEO of Foss owner Saltchuk Marine, said: "The New Bedford Foss Marine Terminal is perfectly situated to support offshore wind projects on the East Coast."
“We appreciate the vision of the City and Port of New Bedford and the vital role they are playing in making this project a success," he added.
“We are thrilled to welcome Foss to the Port of New Bedford," Mitchell said. "The new terminal will solidify the Port’s status as the East Coast’s leader in offshore wind, complement our fishing industry, and create opportunities for our residents."
Vineyard Wind CEO Klaus Moeller said: “We’re proud to work with Foss and look forward to the positive effect their presence will have in the city of New Bedford.”