NEW BEDFORD – A 10-man offshore wind advisory committee will help steer the city on how to capitalize on the still-developing offshore wind industry, which the mayor calls the single-largest economic development opportunity in decades.
“This is all really with a view toward the future – not just the Cape Wind project but really the much larger development of an industry all along our coast of which New Bedford is the industrial center,” Mitchell said in announcing the committee Wednesday.
“There will be many ports involved in this industry … but what we’re shaping up now is New Bedford’s centrality in that picture.”
While the offshore wind industry has existed in Europe since 1991, it has yet to establish a farm in the United States.
The new committee includes chief executive officers from three leading offshore wind companies, as well as representatives from local and international manufacturing companies, labor and the state.
The group will meet about once a quarter to share contacts and perspective into industry trends, Mitchell said.
“We need to have better insight into this brand new industry than other places do,” he said.
Mitchell said the goal is to ensure that supply companies associated with turbine manufacture or cable installation locate and hire here. The city also wants to involve local companies in the process, he said.
“Our goal ultimately is to maximize job opportunities for folks living in the city of New Bedford,” he said.
The members of the panel, which will work with the city’s Economic Development Council, are: Cape Wind President Jim Gordon, Deepwater Wind CEO Jeff Grybowski, Fishermen’s Energy President Daniel Cohen, Global Marine Energy strategic development director Joel Whitman, Thomas Mousten of Siemens Energy, Precix CEO David Slutz, Acushnet Company vice president Joseph Nauman, Boston & New England Maritime Trade Council president Gerard Dhooge, MassCEC offshore wind director Bill White, and JA Apparel Corporation CEO Anthony Sapienza.
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