ABOVE: #NBOC featured photo of the month – A view from the Port of New Bedford walking and cycling path from City Pier 3 to Pope’s Island.
FEATURE STORY by Steven Froias
The UMassD 2020 Marine Renewable Energy Conference: On and Off the Grid – and all online
“We have all the most important people in renewable energy at this event!” says Elise Rapoza, Assistant Director of Corporate Engagement at UMass Dartmouth and organizer of the Marine Renewable Energy Conference.
In a strange twist, the need to go virtual during the Covid-19 pandemic is actually allowing events like the Marine Renewable Energy Conference to deepen its bench and broaden its reach. International and national figures can participate without the need for travel – and participants can learn about the blue economy future centered around the New Bedford Ocean Cluster and the Port of New Bedford from their home offices or living rooms anywhere.
That’s why Elise is so excited to be putting together the Marine Renewable Energy Conference, her first but UMassD’s third such conference.
On Thursday, November 12 from noon to 5:00 p.m., the virtual event will bring together a diverse group of industry insiders, academic experts, and public policymakers to share their experiences and thoughts on the latest developments in ocean energy.
The keynote speaker will be Alejandro Moreno, Director of the Waterpower Technology Office, U.S. Department of Energy.
Alex Thillerup of Xodus Group, a leading global wind energy consultancy, will also be featured at the conference. Xodus Group has been tasked by the Port of New Bedford to assemble the New Bedford Ocean Cluster.
UMassD writes that this iteration of the conference is inspired by the U.S. Department of Energy’s recent publication, “Powering the Blue Economy” which explores opportunities for marine renewable energy to serve the needs of various maritime markets.
“Though on Zoom, this will not be a webinar-style conference, and will instead enable participants to interact, if they so wish, whether through Q&A sessions, in a designated networking room, or in one of the ‘showcase’ rooms featuring different providers of research and development infrastructure.”
You can RSVP to attend the conference at this link. There, you’ll also find an agenda for the conference and further background information.
PORT OF NEW BEDFORD IN THE NEWS
These stories made headlines this past month; click to read the full article…
Port of New Bedford nets $20 million for infrastructure improvements
New Bedford has landed a $16 million federal grant for port infrastructure improvements to protect commercial fishing businesses from floods and severe weather events. The investment will be matched with $4 million in local funds, and is expected to create or retain 400 jobs and spur $4 million in private investment…
Canada’s True North Seafood comes to New Bedford; acquires Mariner Seafood
“The Port of New Bedford serves as the city’s greatest natural resource and the economic engine of southeastern Massachusetts, stimulating investment, attracting new industry, and creating jobs. True North will be a welcome addition to the Port.” – City of New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell
USDA Will Purchase $4.4 Million of Blue Harvest’s Sustainable, New Bedford Groundfish
Blue Harvest Fisheries is pleased to announce that it has been granted a $4,425,480 purchase award to supply local, sustainably harvested haddock, ocean perch and Atlantic pollock to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The purchase, part of the Department’s Commodity Procurement Program, will be used to distribute Blue Harvest’s all-natural, IQF groundfish to schools, food banks, and households across the United States…
- The New Bedford Ocean Cluster’s mission is to connect the maritime interests and industries of the city and region into a collaborative force to meet the future. Each month we’ll bring you the latest news and headlines from the Port of New Bedford to help further that effort. Feel free to email any information you’d like to share about your maritime business or organization by sending it to NewBedfordNow@gmail.com.
If you’d like to receive more information about your marine business or service organization becoming a part of the New Bedford Ocean Cluster, please send your interest via email to the following:
Commercial Fishing :: CommercialFishing@newbedfordoceancluster.org
Offshore Renewables :: Renewables@newbedfordoceancluster.org
Aquaculture :: Aquaculture@newbedfordoceancluster.org
By Steven Froias
When the Port of New Bedford initiated the New Bedford Ocean Cluster, it was with one primary idea in mind: That the incredible assets of the region’s maritime economy be brought together to achieve the critical mass necessary to compete globally as an oceanport.
The New Bedford Ocean Cluster will then align all marine-based assets in the area — from shipyards to welders to electricians to IoT technicians — and forge them into a collective of skills and infrastructure that will be prepared for all manner of ocean-based commercial enterprises.
The Port of New Bedford has tasked Xodus Group, a leading global energy consultancy, with the mission of leading the Offshore Renewables part of the New Bedford Ocean Cluster.
Leading the effort is Alexander Thillerup, new to these shores via Denmark and many other locations. On behalf of the Xodus Group, he is now engaged in assembling the local team.
Already, Brendan Quinn, who has worked ten seasons as a commercial scalloper, has been brought on board to coordinate the Offshore Renewables asset team.
Joining him is Alex Butters of the Port of New Bedford, who will lead a team dedicated to identifying Aquaculture opportunities on the South Coast.
And overseeing it all is Edward Anthes-Washburn, Port director, on behalf of the New Bedford Port Authority and the City of New Bedford, Jon A Mitchell, Mayor.
As the New Bedford Ocean Cluster grows and the organization and supply chain needed to navigate tomorrow charts its course, their motto is simple: Act Local First.
This will be especially important as the resources necessary for a sustainable wind energy industry based in New Bedford are identified.
As Anthes-Washburn has stated, “it’s our goal to ensure that the vast number of enterprises which support America’s #1 fishing port also play a role in wind, aquaculture and technology-based industries into the future.”
Act local first. Because, it’s all here — and together it is the New Bedford Ocean Cluster.
- Follow the New Bedford Ocean Cluster on Facebook here and LinkedIn here. If you’d like to receive more information about your marine business or service organization becoming a part of the New Bedford Ocean Cluster, please send your interest via email to the following:
By Steven Froias
The City of New Bedford, Massachusetts has a legendary relationship with the ocean. This history was immortalized in literature in none other than the great American novel, Moby-Dick by Herman Melville.
In the book, and in actual life during the 1850s, New Bedford was the world-wide center of whaling, from which the nascent industrial revolution drew its energy. It is said of the city that it literally spread light around the globe, as whale oil was the preferred fuel to illuminate the night.
Today, New Bedford stands on the precipice of a new age in energy production – one far more enlightened and less savage than the brutal whaling industry which first brought it fame and fortune. This future will be defined by offshore wind, a sustainable resource which is poised to characterize the 21st century in ways unforeseen right now. That story is just now beginning to be written.
But it is known that the tale to be told is made possible due to the legacy and prominence of the Port of New Bedford, the nation’s number one fishing port and a multifaceted enterprise that still defines the city.
Now, from this storied place, something new has arisen.
In Moby-Dick, Melville wrote, “It is not down on any map; true places never are.”
That is where the New Bedford Ocean Cluster exists.
The New Bedford Ocean Cluster is best understood as the place where the essential infrastructure necessary to build both a sustainable and renewable marine economy will be found. Just as sail-makers and coopers; whalemen and deckhands; inventors and visionaries came together to enable New Bedford to fulfill its destiny as the Whaling City, the New Bedford Ocean Cluster is the partnership which will guide the city into a second century of oceanport prominence.
The Port of New Bedford has created the New Bedford Ocean Cluster with the following mission statement in mind:
The New Bedford Ocean Cluster will work collaboratively with a range of private sector, public sector and academic partners to establish New Bedford as the leading ocean economy on the east coast of the United States. The NBOC will:
- Create a New Bedford maritime business network by serving both as a clearinghouse for business-to-business interaction and the leading convener of maritime businesses, while leveraging the networks, the port’s unique infrastructure and maritime know-how to attract investment and support the formation and growth of ocean economy businesses.
- Make the Port of New Bedford the first port of call of the offshore wind industry in the United States
- Become the model for other ports to facilitate commercial collaboration between port industries and companies
- Develop strategies to create more value for our community from our natural ocean resources including fish, wind and aquaculture
Port of New Bedford Director Edward Port Director Anthes-Washburn, leading the New Bedford Ocean Cluster, says the addition of offshore wind is a natural fit for the port, as commercial fishing and wind energy share a mindset – “to go and harvest natural resources – in this case a renewable natural resource.”
The overall vision is to strengthen and partner with the region’s powerful marine technology and business communities by practicing meaningful collaboration. The New Bedford Ocean Cluster will focus on the area’s legacy strengths in the Commercial Fishing industry and add to it the nascent Offshore Renewable Energy industry, Aquaculture, and BlueTech / the Internet of Things (IoT). The initiative is designed to embrace and enable the entire scope of the region’s maritime economy and help all of it flourish and grow together.
City of New Bedford Mayor Jon A. Mitchell states, “The Port is the primary economic driver of the region because it offers competitive advantages to the various industries that call it home, including commercial fishing, recreational boating, ferry service, certain lines of international cargo, and soon, offshore wind.”
Indeed, in the last five years the port has seen a considerable influx of commercial fishing vessels from out-of-state ports, as well as the arrival or expansion of several major seafood processors. Meanwhile, the University of Massachusetts has completed a $55 million expansion of its School for Marine Science and Technology (SMAST) in the city, and the port’s recreational marinas have filled up.
Also, the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal – critical infrastructure for the future – has been purpose-built to support the construction, assembly and deployment of offshore wind turbines. Already, Vineyard Wind and Mayflower Wind have signed leases worth over $30 million to utilize the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal as a staging area for North America’s first commercial-scale offshore wind farm.
In short, the Port of New Bedford with the New Bedford Ocean Cluster is charting a new course into the history books. It will make for a fascinating tale – with or without the appearance of a white whale.
Instead, to paraphrase Melville, …the great floodgates of the wonder-world will swing wide open.
The New Bedford Ocean Cluster welcomes you to sail through.
- Follow the New Bedford Ocean Cluster on Facebook here and LinkedIn here. If you’d like to receive more information about your marine business or service organization becoming a partner, please send your interest via email to the following: