MA: MHI Vestas Offshore Wind Selects Boston for New HQ, Bringing New Jobs
6 May, 2019
Gov. Charlie Baker joined legislative leaders and executives from two companies involved in the offshore wind industry to celebrate the news that the Danish company MHI Vestas Offshore Wind has chosen Boston for its American headquarters.
MHI Vestas, a turbine manufacturer, is partnering with Vineyard Wind on the 800-megawatt wind farm that utilities and the state tapped Vineyard Wind to construct 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard and 34 miles from the mainland. Executives from the two companies said it will be the first “utility-scale” offshore wind farm in the United States.
For Baker, the announcement is another sign that Massachusetts took the right approach in the 2016 clean energy law that authorized the procurement of offshore wind and hydroelectric power in hopes of lowering costs for ratepayers and shifting towards more clean or renewable sources of energy.
He said the price Massachusetts ratepayers can expect to pay for Vineyard Wind’s clean electricity — 6.5 cents per kilowatt hour — proved to other states that it is possible to structure an offshore wind procurement to make it affordable and practical.
“It’s pretty clear that a lot of folks all the way down the coast are getting very interested in the possibilities associated with a clean, renewable energy source that’s also affordable and from our point of view that’s the magic in this,” the governor said. “We’re talking about 50 percent of our electricity coming from clean, renewable energy sources here in the commonwealth of Mass.”
House Speaker Robert DeLeo said he is most excited about the jobs that the offshore wind industry is expected to bring to Massachusetts, especially if the job growth can be spread out across various parts of the state.
“Now we will hopefully be starting a new industry here in Massachusetts and one of the things we often talk about is the creation of jobs and although I think they’ll initially be located in the Boston area, eventually as time goes on that could move down to the SouthCoast as well, I hope,” DeLeo said.
Sen. Marc Pacheco, who represents parts of SouthCoast, said, “This is a big deal. This is huge, the creation of a new industry in America. This is going to take off.”
Vineyard Wind and MHI Vestas were attracted to Massachusetts because of the state’s position as a leader in the nascent American offshore wind industry and the political climate in the state.
“We are not only announcing a partner for a project, but actually we are announcing a partner that is coming over because the leadership of Massachusetts and the whole industry being created and focused here around Massachusetts, that is luring world-class companies to Massachusetts,” Vineyard Wind CEO Lars Pedersen said after meeting with the governor, DeLeo and others in Baker’s office Friday.
Lars Bondo Krogsgaard, co-CEO of MHI Vestas, said Friday that the Vineyard Wind project will “demonstrate what offshore wind is capable of.”
“It will create jobs in communities that are otherwise finding it difficult to find new jobs and it will create clean and affordable energy for the state,” he said.
Pedersen said his company is planning to financially close on the project in 2019, begin on-shore construction work in 2020, put the first turbine into the seabed in 2021 and complete the 84-turbine wind farm in 2022.