Tetra Tech / Mass SEC study touts economic boost from New Bedford's Cape Wind site

By Charis Anderson

Construction of the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal could expand business output by more than $44 million and generate about $19.2 million of additional household income in Bristol County over a two-year period, according to a study commissioned by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center.

After construction is complete, the terminal could continue to stimulate Bristol County’s economy, with its general operations expected to increase business output by about $15.6 million and generate about $5.9 million in additional household income each year, the study said.

The numbers in the study include not only the direct effects from the construction and operation of the terminal but also indirect and induced effects.

“The development of the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal will be one of the most catalytic job creation developments that New Bedford has seen in many years,” said Matthew Morrissey, executive director of the New Bedford Economic Development Council.

“This project thrusts New Bedford into a global, clean-technology marketplace.”

Gov. Deval Patrick announced the construction of the $35 million facility — the first port facility in the U.S. specifically designed to support the assembly and installation of offshore wind projects — at a press conference Wednesday in New Bedford.
Cape Wind will use the facility during its construction and assembly phases.

According to the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center study, the actual construction and maintenance of an offshore wind farm — the study used a 130-turbine installation, the proposed size of Cape Wind, as a representative sample — could provide an additional statewide economic boost:

* An expected increase of about $457.3 million in business output and the generation of an additional $162.9 million in household income across the state over an estimated three-year construction period.

* An expected annual increase of about $27.5 million in business output and the generation of an additional $6.8 million in household income across the state during operation and maintenance of the wind farm.

Those figures include indirect and induced effects in addition to direct effects.

“The important thing that people have to understand is that the governor and Congressman (Barney) Frank, and Sen. (Mark) Montigny and Mayor (Scott) Lang, they’re really creating a catalyst with this new maritime commerce center,” said Jim Gordon, president of Cape Wind Associates.

“It will also attract technology clusters around this new offshore renewable industry. … There will be a manufacturing and supply chain that will also emerge to service and supply this growing industry.”

Gordon and other officials pointed to the news that Middleboro-based Mass Tank Sales Corp., a steel tank manufacturing company, will partner with Germany’s EEW Group to provide various steel products to Cape Wind as an initial example of this cluster effect.
While the companies are still deciding on a location for their new facility — Mass Tank CEO Carl Horstmann said the facility will be located on the waterfront — Lang said he wants it to be in New Bedford.

“I don’t want to lose that opportunity, and I’d hate to see it go to another city,” he said.

Two possible locations for it — the former Revere Copper site in the Hicks-Logan area and the NStar plant near the new hotel — are both under option to casino developers, according to Lang.

“I am hoping that things begin to break free here,” said Lang of the two parcels. “They only make so much land on the waterfront.”
Lang said he saw the Mass Tank-EEW facility as a good fit for the Revere Copper site, but that there are other parcels on the waterfront that could work.

October 22, 2010 12:00 AM

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