Denmark-based wind-power pioneer DONG Energy—the world’s largest offshore developer—has opened a Boston office, planning to build what could be North America’s largest offshore wind farm, located 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard.
Bay State Wind, DONG Energy’s U.S. entity, is proposing construction and operation of a utility-scale offshore wind farm, with installed capacity of up to 1,000 MW—more than double what Cape Wind proposed for its 130-turbine, 468-MW farm.
“We came to Massachusetts because we see a tremendous opportunity to build a new, vibrant offshore wind industry in the state,” stated Thomas Brostrom, North America project manager for DONG Energy. “Denmark has seen tremendous benefits from being the ‘first mover,’ which could potentially be replicated here in New England.” The Center for American Progress estimates that, overall, Massachusetts has the potential to generate 14,500 MW of wind power in the state.
Dong’s comes on the scene as the state of Massachusetts has been forced to wrangle with serious energy constraints. “With losing Pilgrim [Nuclear Power Plant] and Brayton Point [a coal-fired powerplant in Somerset] and others, this is a huge opportunity to bring in new, diversified energy and meet renewable goals, with jobs for Massachusetts and the region,” says Lauren Burm, spokeswoman for DONG Energy in Boston.
“Offshore wind represents the only homegrown, new power source for Massachusetts,” says Matthew Morrissey, executive director of the Offshore Wind: Massachusetts coalition.
DONG Energy is one of three developers proposing offshore wind farms between Martha’s Vineyard and Block Island, R.I. The other two are Offshore MW, the U.S. arm of a German company, and Deepwater Wind, currently building a 30-MW wind farm off Block Island.
“All three companies said the ITC [investment tax credit] … would not be factored into [construction] bids,” Morrissey says.