Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Deme Offshore Vineyard Wind 1 Ocean Cluster Business Collaboration

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The “Meet the Buyer” reception was held at the Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott in New Bedford on Tuesday evening. The event featured remarks from DEME as well as the New Bedford Ocean Cluster and Vineyard Wind. “The word future has no room in this vocabulary, we’re now in real time,” said Sidney Florey, president of DEME Offshore US.

The event offered a forum for networking with local business leaders in industries such as hospitality, personal protective equipment, waste and facilities management, boating products, communications and marketing and warehouse and storage.

More:As Vineyard Wind nears contracting and hiring, CEO has ‘great interest’ in local supply chain

“We’re working with Vineyard Wind to help build a local supply chain,” said Delia Warren, a consultant for Exodus, which is working with the New Bedford Ocean Cluster. “Basically, to make sure that as many local companies benefit from the opportunities from the offshore wind industry and all the projects that are going to be installed out of the support of New Bedford well into the future.”

DEME hopes to begin collaborations with local companies within the next year.

“We’re going to embrace the notion of where we are right now. And how we get to the next step is going to be involving every person we can get involved in this project,” Florey said. “The future is now.”

More:Vineyard Wind signs labor agreement for offshore wind project; 500 union jobs guaranteed

The project is also expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1.68 million metric tons annually, the equivalent of taking 325,000 cars off the road each year, according to Vineyard Wind. 

Located 15 miles off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard, Vineyard Wind 1 is poised to become the first large-scale offshore wind farm in the United States by 2023. Generating up to 800 megawatts, the project will provide clean electricity to power more than 400,000 homes, creating thousands of jobs and reducing electricity rates by $1.4 billion over the first two decades of operation, according to Vineyard Wind. 

“We’re pleased to work with DEME on another facet of our Vineyard Wind 1 project because they understand the need to train the US workforce so that we can meet the demands of this growing industry,” said Vineyard Wind CEO, Lars T. Pedersen in a press release on Oct. 11. 

Based in Boston, DEME Offshore US specializes in dredging, solutions for the offshore energy industry, infra marine and environmental works. The company claims it “can build on more than 140 years of know-how and is a front runner in innovation and new technologies.”

According to the company, DEME’s vision is to work towards a sustainable future by offering solutions for global challenges such as a rising sea level, a growing population and reduction of CO2 emissions. DEME can rely on 5,200 highly skilled professionals and a modern fleet of over 100 vessels.

More:State, New Bedford officials and local leaders criticize state’s offshore wind bid process

In addition to the installation of turbines, DEME will also now handle the transportation and installation of the monopile foundations, transition pieces and scour protection for the wind turbine foundations, along with the offshore electrical substation foundation and platform.

In the meantime, DEME asked local businesses to register on their website so they can start classifying people in different areas based on the profile.

The goal of the New Bedford Ocean Cluster is to serve the maritime business community and to leverage New Bedford’s coastal position, marine knowledge base, and landside capacity to drive employment and wealth creation for New Bedford residents.

“I think the operative word is opportunity,” said John Bullard, NBOC president. “It’s not a certain outcome. It’s hard work, you have to go find opportunity. It takes a lot of risk. That’s what tonight is about. It’s about risk. It’s about being willing to do something different, that you don’t know about.”

Standard-Times staff writer Seth Chitwood can be reached at schitwood@s-t.com. Follow him on twitter: @ChitwoodReports. Support local journalism by purchasing a digital or print subscription to The Standard-Times today.

“It’s about the partnerships we create here tonight,” Bullard added. “Doing business with one another and finding new ways of doing things so that we can, as New Bedford has done in the past: lighting the world.”

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