Deepwater Wind pledges contingent $1M grant to UMass Dartmouth-led project

DARTMOUTH – Deepwater Wind LLC has pledged a contingent $1 million over five years in seed funding to form a new Blue Economy Initiative at University of Massachusetts led by the UMass Dartmouth School for Marine Science and Technology, the university announced Thursday.

The funding would be conveyed if Deepwater Wind’s proposed Massachusetts-based 144-megawatt wind farm, “Revolution Wind,” is approved by Massachusetts state utilities.

Deepwater responded to a request for proposals from the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities for Section 83D of the Act to Promote Energy Diversity earlier this year. According to the Massachusetts DPU, the selection of projects for negotiation begins on Jan. 25, 2018. The submission of long-term contracts for DPU approval for the 83D proposed projects is scheduled for April 25, 2018.

The Blue Economy Initiative would develop an independent research portfolio on how offshore wind farms can coexist with other ocean-based industries, with an emphasis on commercial fishing.

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While the project relies on Deepwater receiving approval before funding would convey, participants sounded confident in the release.

“The growth of offshore wind energy in the U.S. provides researchers with a tremendous opportunity to examine this new industry and how it can coexist with other ocean users, particularly commercial fishermen,” said Deepwater Wind CEO Jeffrey Grybowski in a statement. “We’re proud to support this new Blue Economy Initiative at UMass, which is perfectly positioned to produce leading-edge research that will guide the continuing development of the offshore wind industry.”

“As New Bedford continues to position itself as a center for the offshore wind industry, it will be critical to strengthen our capacity to perform basic and applied research needed by the industry,” said New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell. “Deepwater Wind’s investment in SMAST reflects the company’s incisive recognition of this need and its commitment to the city.”

Chris Bergenheim is the PBN web editor.