The Future of Offshore Wind in Massachusetts event, to be held on October 28, 2015 from 6:30 to 8:30 PM, will feature industry experts as panelists in a discussion about the role that wind power will play in Massachusetts’ energy generation now and in the future.
The panelists are Jeffrey Grybowski, CEO of Deepwater Wind, Thomas Brostrøm, General Manager of DONG Energy’s North American business, Erich Stephens, Executive Vice President of OffshoreMW. The event will be moderated by Matthew A. Morrissey, Executive Director of Offshore Wind MA, an association advocating for a large scale, competitive and transparent offshore wind sector for the Commonwealth.
The panelists will speak about specific components of the overall effort to bring wind power to Massachusetts as it pertains to their current and future projects. Expected discussions will address the price of offshore wind, the expected time to market, job creation and other related topics.
Why wind power matters more than ever
As a region, New England has always been highly susceptible to energy price spikes, to say nothing of the steadily rising rates that residents and businesses have paid over the last few decades. Aging infrastructure, decommissioned coal-fired and nuclear plants, lack of access to natural gas pipelines and unpredictable winter weather are the primary culprits behind these price increases.
To remedy this, local leaders have proposed large investments in renewable energy generation as a way to cut down on carbon emissions, lower energy prices for ratepayers and diversify the generation mix in the region. Along with other renewables such as solar and hydropower, offshore wind power is widely seen as an effective way to meet all of these goals.
According to the Massachusetts state government’s website, Governor Charlie Baker has set a goal of 2,000 megawatts of total wind generation by 2020. This capacity would be enough to power 800,000 homes, account for 10 percent of the state's total electricity load with renewable energy and cut greenhouse gas emissions by about 12 percent, or 3.1 million tons.
Helping Massachusetts reach its wind power goals
Meeting these goals, especially in such a short timeframe, will not be without significant challenges to the manufacturers and installers who are tasked with building out Massachusetts’ offshore wind infrastructure. All stakeholders involved in the project, from investors to manufacturers and project developers, need to see a return on investment in terms of energy yield.
The market for wind turbines and their component parts is a global one, and that means competition is fierce. Short time-to-market requirements and the need to conform to strict international quality and reliability standards means that robust testing of all components and subassemblies are a must-have for manufacturers and developers. Moreover, wind farm design, site testing for yield potential, permitting and grid connection will be essential services for offshore wind farm deployments.