A delegation from Massachusetts is heading to Europe next week to gather information on developing offshore wind and its supporting industries.
Matt Morrissey, executive director for the city’s Economic Development Council, will travel with a group that includes Patrick Cloney, CEO of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, New Bedford’s John Miller from the Marine Renewable Energy Center and Paul Vigeant, assistant chancellor for economic development at UMass Dartmouth.
“This is an opportunity to learn best practices from nations that are far ahead of the United States in this sector,” Morrissey said.
The group will arrive first in England and spend a day at Oceanology International in London, a bi-annual global forum on ocean science and marine technology.
A visit to Esbjerg on the Jutland peninsula in Denmark (which is a key port in that country’s offshore wind industry) will be followed by a tour of the Siemens factory, a leading Danish turbine manufacturer.
The rest of the five-day trip will be spent meeting with officials in Germany and visiting manufacturers and sites.
“The meetings in Germany and Denmark will focus on new business and collaboration opportunities in the wind energy sector, as we work to create a robust supply chain for offshore wind right here in Massachusetts,” Cloney said in a statement. “We will also be meeting experienced leaders who have successfully built marine terminal projects like the New Bedford Marine Terminal, to understand what has worked and what has not worked in the global wind economy.”
Cuxhaven and its sister port Bremerhaven in Germany have developed all of the infrastructure and resources necessary to support the manufacture, assembly and deployment of turbines, according to Miller.
“The deployment site here would be a tenth of the size of what they’re doing in Europe,” he said. “So it’s important to go and see the scale. In the last three years they have created about 2,400 manufacturing jobs in Cuxhaven and Bremerhaven.”
The European Parliament has announced an ambitious target of obtaining 25 percent of the continent’s energy needs from renewable energy by 2020 with offshore turbines expected to play a significant role.
“These ports have significantly increased jobs supporting the needs of the wind turbines,” Morrissey said. “We’re going to meet with the people responsible for creating those jobs.”
The development of the South Terminal in New Bedford harbor as a staging area for turbines is already attracting some interest from a number of overseas companies interested in potentially manufacturing in the city, Morrissey said.
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