New Bedford Gets Historic First Windmill Parts For Vineyard Wind

New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell speaks on Thursday after the arrival of windmill parts destined for Vineyard Wind.Photo: New Bedford Mayor's Office

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — New Bedford says it's taking a step forward in the cycle of history. On Wednesday, the massive Portuguese super-freighter UHL Felicity pulled into port in the storied whaling city, carrying the first windmill parts for the Vineyard Wind offshore windmill project.

The parts are destined to become an 850-foot windmill, anchored in the ocean 15 miles south of Martha's Vineyard — one of 62.

Vineyard Wind is set to be the first commercial-scale wind farm in the United States. New Bedford plans to be there every step of the way, as it plans to be the staging and control center for the entire historic project.

New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell said it's something of a return to the past.

"There is a poetic coming about for New Bedford. We were the center of the energy industry in the 19th Century as the leading whaling port in the world, and now here we are in this brand new energy industry," he told the Associated Press.

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The 800-megawatt project will generate electricity for more than 400,000 homes and businesses in the Commonwealth. The wind farm is expected to reduce carbon emissions by more than 1.6 million metric tons each year which is equivalent to taking 325,000 cars off the road annually.

“The possibilities that offshore wind will provide our region, Commonwealth, and country will be invaluable as we continue to push for a greener future,” said Representative Christopher Markey. “The arrival of these towers is a major step on the path to sustainable energy that will bring new economic development and opportunities to our community.”

Vineyard Wind said the project will save customers $1.4 billion over the first 20 years of operation and will start delivering clean energy to Massachusetts in 2023.

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