NEW BEDFORD – The manufacturer of wind turbine parts that have been sitting for several weeks at the Marine Commerce Terminal on the city’s southern shore has extended its lease of the facility for a month, a state official said Monday.
Bill White, senior director of offshore wind for the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, or MassCEC, said Gamesa has extended its agreement to use the $113 million facility through August.
The Spain-based Gamesa produces and operates wind power facilities around the world.
Massive parts for Gamesa G97 turbines slated for installation on a southern Plymouth wind farm arrived in New Bedford last month, on the first two cargo ships to use the terminal’s deep-water berth.
The 8-megawatt turbine project, by ConEdison Solutions, is known as Future Generation Wind. The City of New Bedford will be a customer of the facility. A power purchase agreement approved last year states the city will buy 6.2-million kilowatt hours of wind power from the project per year, for the next 20 years.
Stephen F. Mealy, chairman of Bourne’s selectmen, said last week that the town had requested more information from ConEdison about transport of the turbine parts and hoped to place an easement issue on an upcoming agenda.
Ron Labelle, commissioner of New Bedford’s Department of Public Infrastructure, said last week that he had not yet heard a definitive date as to when mobilization to move the massive parts would begin.
MassCEC spokesperson Catherine Williams acknowledged Monday that the process could create somewhat of a silver lining for the state.
The terminal “is being used and to have an extension is great, because it is more revenue,” Williams said.
Meanwhile, Williams and White said, MassCEC is continuing work toward naming a terminal operator. MassCEC received three proposals from potential operators in late March, but has declined to release information about the proposals until an operator is named.
White said the goal remains to name an operator this summer – but acknowledged that, technically, summer continues into mid-September.
“Those discussions are ongoing,” White said.
He also said MassCEC has heard from several business interests who could bring the terminal its next customers, potentially later this year.
“Mass CEC is in negotiations with several business interests, regarding their strong interest in utilizing the terminal,” White said.
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