By Mark Rodgers, Cape Wind
Cape Wind has today announced that a team including three companies based in New Bedford, Massachusetts, is involved with completing geophysical surveys of the project site and offshore cable routes.
Survey vessels with a suite of geophysical instruments are surveying the seafloor and subsea geology on Horseshoe Shoal and along the offshore cable route.
New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell welcomed the news, "Today's announcement is significant because it is yet another confirmation that existing New Bedford businesses are going to have opportunities to play key roles in the offshore wind industry as projects like Cape Wind accelerate in the months and years ahead." Mitchell added, "We know that the capabilities of New Bedford-based companies are real, and they match up well with the needs of Cape Wind. New Bedford has three hundred years of maritime and manufacturing experience under its belt. Today is a recognition of the valuable role we can play."
"With the development of the Cape Wind project comes the opportunity for Massachusetts to become the premiere hub of U.S. offshore wind development. This first-mover status means that more and more jobs like these will come to Massachusetts, which is home to many companies with expertise in marine services. We're proud to see them tapped for this first-in-the-nation project," said Alicia Barton, CEO of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, which is constructing a first-in-the nation port in New Bedford equipped to handle the large loads associated with offshore wind development projects.
New Bedford companies were involved with Cape Wind's prior geotechnical and geophysical work and the harbor has been used as the assembly area for an offshore jack-up barge.
New Bedford-based Fathom Research President Ward McIntyre said, "Over the past four years Fathom Research LLC has provided various marine services to Cape Wind, we are pleased to be providing diver assisted sub-bottom imaging services. We look forward to continuing our work relationship with Cape Wind as we continue to position Fathom Research as a multi-tooled marine service provider for the future needs of the U.S. offshore wind industry."
New Bedford-based A.I.S., Inc., President Arvidas Poshkus said, "A.I.S., Inc., is pleased to provide the Protected Species Observers for the Cape Wind offshore wind farm project located in Nantucket Sound. AIS observers are following federal guidelines to ensure that marine mammals and sea turtles are not harmed during Cape Wind operations."
Hercules SLR, also based in New Bedford, has been providing members of the Cape Wind management team with maritime safety training.
Ocean Surveys, Inc. based in Old Saybrook, Connecticut is the lead survey contractor and has collected over 5,000 miles of geophysical data offshore the U.S. east coast over the past four years. John Sullivan, Manager of Geophysical Surveys at Ocean Surveys, Inc. said, "Ocean Surveys, Inc. performed extensive early investigations to support Cape Wind during its permitting and planning phases and we're excited to rejoin the project team to perform the final season of geophysical surveying prior to construction."
ESS Group, based in Waltham, Massachusetts, has been Cape Wind's lead environmental and permitting consultant and is assisting Cape Wind in managing this geophysical survey project.
A Notice to Mariners regarding this survey vessel activity was filed with the U.S. Coast Guard.
Cape Wind will be America's first offshore wind farm and will help catalyze a domestic offshore wind industry and related supply chain. Cape Wind has long term Power Purchase Agreements with National Grid and NSTAR, the two largest electric utilities in Massachusetts. Cape Wind is the first U.S. offshore wind project to be fully permitted, and to have been issued a commercial lease and received approval for its Construction and Operations Plan by the U.S. Department of Interior. Cape Wind is currently in its financing phase. For more information please visit: www.capewind.org.