Deepwater Wind and UMass Team Up for Offshore Wind Research

Deepwater Wind is pledging funding for the establishment of a new Blue Economy Initiative at the University of Massachusetts (UMass) to investigate how offshore wind farms can coexist with other ocean-based industries.

Image source: Deepwater Wind

The company is committing USD 1 million over five years to sponsor the initiative, which will develop an independent research portfolio on the offshore wind farms and the other industries, with emphasis on commercial fishing.

The initiative, led by the UMass Dartmouth School for Marine Science and Technology (SMAST) via the Massachusetts Marine Fisheries Institute (MFI), will see independent researchers at the MFI establish a portfolio that seeks to advance both offshore wind development and the fishing industry in the decades to come.

Deepwater Wind Massachusetts Vice President, Matthew Morrissey, said: “The Blue Economy Initiative will provide UMass faculty and their students with real-world data points and experiential learning about one of the country’s most exciting new industries. We look forward to seeing the results of this research effort in the years to come.”

The researchers will delve into areas such as offshore wind siting, wind resource assessment, energy forecasting, supply chain development, technological innovations and the intersection of offshore wind, commercial fishing and shipping, among other topics.

The sponsorship agreement is contingent on the approval of Deepwater Wind’s Revolution Wind project by state utilities.

In July, the company unveiled its plans for the 144MW Revolution Wind offshore wind farm to be built in its federal lease site off the coast of Massachusetts.

The project will use the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal for construction and staging operations, which, according to Deepwater Wind, will create a high number of jobs to complete the first 144MW of what could be a much larger project over time.

If approved, local construction work on the wind farm would begin in 2022, with the project in operations in 2023.