The New Bedford Port Authority (NBPA) has released a Communications Protocol as installation of the Vineyard Wind 1 offshore wind farm begins in earnest. The NBPA released the following:
Vineyard Wind is currently marshaling for the first commercial‐scale offshore wind development at the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal (NBMCT). Their installation will commence in earnest over the next few weeks. This will entail the frequent arrival and departure of large heavy‐lift offshore wind (OSW) vessels and barges to deliver and deploy offshore wind tower, nacelle and blade components.
In addition to the size of the vessels, the frequency of these transits – arrivals, departures, and in-port repositioning – will be greater than the Port has seen from large vessels. These transits present the potential for temporary disruptions to other movements in the harbor and are likely to draw interest and curiosity given their scale.
In order to ensure safe transit of the OSW vessels and most importantly to ensure the safety of all other port users, particularly commercial fishermen and recreational boaters, the New Bedford Port Authority (NBPA) is taking two primary steps:
Vessel Escorts: The NBPA will continue to provide vessel escorts to assist in the transit of large commercial vessels. Depending on the size, timing, weather conditions or other factors, this may include multiple escorts. The primary purpose of vessel escorts is to regulate/contain vessel traffic on each side of the hurricane barrier and within the harbor as vessels traverse the barrier opening, and to ensure a safe transit to the turning basin in front of Sate Pier and the Terminal channel. When vessels are being escorted, it will require a brief halt to all other traffic through the New Bedford hurricane barrier and surrounding the vessel as it traverses the harbor. Traffic will resume as soon as the New Bedford Harbormaster determines it is safe to do so.
OSW Transits Communications: The NBPA will be communicating information received from Vineyard Wind and its’ contractors to port users regarding the timing of any OSW transits, so that sufficient preparation, planning, or schedule adjustments can be made. Due to a range of operational and weather factors, the actual arrival can deviate by several hours and even days from the targeted arrival time. NBPA will convey the Vineyard Wind‐sourced schedule information to Port Users in the following steps:
Roughly 48 Hours prior to scheduled arrival time: An SMS text will be sent to port users with a general targeted arrival time (within a 2-hour window) and vessel type. In the event the vessel in question is expected to require a temporary halt to barrier opening transits, the information will include the anticipated timing for the Harbormaster’s start of the pause and the expected resumption barrier transits.
To subscribe to these SMS text notifications, please Text “OSWVesselActivity” to (855)-641-4459.
For questions: portofnewbedford.org/contact