(New Bedford, MA, March 12, 2017) – Vineyard Wind (VW) today released an economic study prepared by the Public Policy Center (PPC) at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, which found that VW’s proposed 800 MW offshore wind project is expected to directly generate and support thousands of new employment opportunities in Massachusetts. The vast majority of this workforce will be located in southeastern Massachusetts, including New Bedford, Fall River, Somerset, Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket and other Bristol and Plymouth County communities.
The PPC’s analysis also estimates that the Vineyard Wind project will generate up to $17 million per year in new state and local tax revenue beginning in 2021 as a result of the development, construction, and annual operation of the project.
“By beginning in-state construction in 2019 and full operations in 2021, Vineyard Wind will not only ensure that Massachusetts is the hub of the offshore wind industry in the United States, it will deliver exceptional opportunities for the creation of new jobs and millions of dollars in much-needed state and local taxes,” said Lars Thaaning Pedersen, CEO of Vineyard Wind. “There are many advantages associated Massachusetts getting a head start as host of the nation’s first commercial-scale offshore wind power generation facility, but none as important as the direct economic benefits for Bay State residents.”
With in-state construction set to begin in 2019, Vineyard Wind is positioned to be the first project in the Massachusetts Clean Energy 83C solicitation process to deliver significant job opportunities to residents of the Commonwealth and put people to work immediately. In December, Vineyard Wind became the first of several competing projects to apply for federal and state construction permits by submitting applications with the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, and the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities’ Energy Facilities Siting Board.
According to UMass PPC’s report, it is estimated that the Vineyard Wind project will create and support:
“In addition to the substantial economic impact we document in our report, the proposed Vineyard Wind project would provide a reliable source of domestically produced clean energy, generate significant opportunities for regional suppliers, and reinforce the Commonwealth’s leadership in the emerging offshore wind industry in the United States,” said Professor Michael Goodman, Executive Director of the PPC, who led the research team.
The UMass PPC’s report found that the average salary for Massachusetts workers during development, construction, and operational period will fall between $78,000 and $85,000 annually. For those located in southeastern Massachusetts, average salary will range from $79,000 to $84,000, which compares favorably with present average salaries of $67,444 for all of Massachusetts and $48,148 for all of southeastern Massachusetts.
Operations and Maintenance activities represent the majority of Vineyard Wind’s total job-years because they will endure for the 25-year lifetime of the wind farm. Adding long-term and high-quality year-round employment to the development and construction activities significantly increases the number of opportunities for local workers to obtain stable sources of full-time, year-round income that would not otherwise exist. The addition of new year-round employment opportunities can be expected to have an especially positive and stabilizing impact on Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard, which are among the Commonwealth’s most highly seasonal regional economies.
Following passage of An Act to Promote Energy Diversity in 2016, Massachusetts required the state’s electric distribution companies to procure 1,600 megawatts (MW) of clean, offshore wind energy within the next decade, resulting in robust interest by developers to participate in the procurement process for long-term offshore wind contracts. The addition of 1,600 MW of low-carbon wind generation capacity will provide enough clean, homegrown energy to power the equivalent of more than 750,000 Massachusetts homes every year.