As east coast states prepare to implement wind power initiatives, including Massachusetts' drive to place turbines off the coast of Nantucket, some towns are setting the groundwork to become major providers of wind farm technology.
New Bedford harbor is the site of a planned manufacturing hub that, if fully realized, could lead to thousands of well-paying jobs and be a huge boon to the local economy.
"We want to establish ourselves as the go-to port for wind energy assembly," New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell told the Boston Globe.
The plan, paid for by $35 million of Massachusetts taxpayer funds, will serve as the stepping stone for the Cape Wind project that recently passed regulatory muster from federal and state environmental officials. The New Bedford government envisions a factory that will initially build the turbines that will power the wind farms and an expanded port that will allow ships to transport components from the harbor to the offshore site.
When speaking with the Boston-based news source, Mitchell compared New Bedford's hopes to those of cities in Germany that are participating in that country's drive for a larger renewable energy policy. According to the mayor, approximately 2,000 jobs were created thanks to the German wind farm initiative.
According to local news source Cape Cod Today, officials from the Cape Wind project have given the New Bedford government assurances that they will place a large order once the facility is fully operational. If all goes to plan, workers in New Bedford should start building turbines during the spring of 2013.
In addition to providing the Massachusetts Bay region with much needed jobs and electricity, it may also set the standard for future projects that could bring green energy to other coastal regions.