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Massachusetts’ 2nd Big Dig: A port for offshore wind

During 2010 Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick announced he wanted to build an ocean wind turbine port named the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal.The proposed harbor terminal is located in the most toxic marine environment in the world. Governor Patrick estimated the South Terminal ocean wind turbine project at around 35 million dollars. The estimate was low because he was denied financing for an ocean wind turbine barge that asked taxpayers to build the 91 million dollar “ship to no where” for ocean wind turbine contractors. ( # the R.D. MacDonald barge is being built in New Jersey)

Prior to 2010 the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE), formerly the Minerals Management Service (MMS) issued a federal permit to Cape Wind to construct their 130 ocean wind turbine project from Quonset Point, Rhode Island. New Bedford and Falmouth, Massachusetts would be allowed three maintenance boats during the construction. Only three boats.

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center a renewable energy agency in Massachusetts took over the construction of the ocean wind turbine port in 2010. The agency got involved with Siemens wind energy company the proposed contractor for the 130 ocean wind turbine project. Correspondence from 2010 to 2012 shows that Siemens was under the impression that they would have access to entire 28 acres of land 24/7 with unrestricted access at the terminal. Please keep in mind Quonset Point, Rhode Island is the federally permitted construction port for Cape Wind.

During 2013 the Executive Branch of Massachusetts government testified to a house bonding committee that they were sure Cape Wind was going to build their turbines in New Bedford and construction should go forward. New Bedford had no federal permit to construct wind turbines.

The project went forward,bids went out and the now 100 million dollar ocean wind turbine port started construction.

The project deadline is December 2014 only a few months away.

The new 100 million dollar channel is not wide or deep enough around the ocean port and can only be used at high tide.

The dredging,blasting and EPA permits have to done over again at taxpayers expense.

There is a AM antenna on 4 acres of land and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center has proposed moving the AM antenna to an irate residential neighborhood in New Bedford. The state agency has major problems with the poor placement of commercial wind turbines in Massachusetts and now an AM antenna ?

The railway tracks are over 2500 feet from the project.

The entrance to New Bedford Harbor at the hurricane gates is 150 feet. It was overlooked that the clearance is only 120 feet and Jack Up barges world wide are 127 feet or wider. A special small barge called the R.D.Mac Donald is being built to fit into New Bedford Harbor.

Cape Wind signed a lease recently with Quonset Point ,Rhode Island the federally permitted location to construct their 130 commercial wind turbines.

New Bedford still has no federal permit to construct wind turbines. Only a permit for three ( 3 ) maintenance boats.The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center between 2010 and forward let Siemens wind company believe they would have 24/7 unrestricted access to the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal while telling the public and news media that the port is a multi use port.

Folks – Do you have any serious questions for your political representatives ?