Brayton Point in Somerset was once the largest coal-fired plant in Massachusetts, and was the last to be decommissioned in 2017.
The plan for the site has been to develop it into Massachusetts' first major offshore wind manufacturing facility, as an integral part of the Commonwealth's approach to its renewable energy portfolio.
This February, Governor Baker and State Officials announced that a 47 acre parcel of the property would be sold to Prysmian Group, who will manufacture high tech subsea transmission cables on the site that will be used to bring offshore wind generated electricity back on site and into the grid.
Prysmian is looking to invest up to $300 million dollars in the Brayton Point facility, and would create a projected 250 high paying jobs on site. Part of the enticement to the project for Prysmian was assurance from Avangrid Renewables that the manufactured cables would be used for the Commonwealth Wind projects, as well as the parallel project in Connecticut (Park City Wind). Avangrid is also the joint partner with Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners on the Vineyard Wind Project.
Vineyard Wind (off Martha's Vineyard) is set to be the first large-scale offshore wind project in the country. Approved by the Biden Administration last year, the Vineyard Wind project will consist of up to 84 wind turbines and expected to produce 800 megawatts of power, or enough to power 400,000 homes.
Back to Brayton Point - Mayflower Wind (also off Martha's Vineyard) will generate 400 megawatts, and feed into the Brayton Point site. Mayflower will also be building a converter station at Brayton Point to facilitate movement of wind generated electricity into the grid. Mayflower also has said its proposal includes $42 million additional dollars in on-shore development and have proposed establishing an operations and maintenance facility at a former industrial site in Fall River and plan to utilize a Somerset based company for a crew transfer vessel for employees as well.
This investment on local infrastructure and the tax revenue that involved facilities will generate, not to mention the creation of plentiful higher paying jobs for the area is a huge positive for Southeastern MA, an area that has been impacted over the decades by phase outs of manufacturing and changes in the fishing industries that were once the lifeblood of the area.
Overall, Massachusetts looks poised to really be in the lead when it comes to offshore wind generation as we watch multiple projects come together. As the Governor said at the gathering in February "One of the biggest challenges we will all face as we go forward from here is figuring out how to get the generation where it needs to go" - that is a problem that the development of Brayton Point seeks to help alleviate.
I wrote an article for the March issue of Oil & Energy Magazine on the Brayton Point site redevelopment, you can read that article in its entirety here: Revisiting Brayton Point: Offshore Wind Brings New Life to Closed Coal Site
(Below: Brayton Point Currently (left), and to the right, a rendering of the proposed redevelopment)