Senator Paul Formica (R-20) chose a packed-house business leader breakfast hosted recently by the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut to make a major announcement on offshore wind development: the Energy and Technology Committee recently agreed to work on legislation to add 2,000 megawatts of offshore wind capacity.
“Clean energy is a $11.4 billion part of Massachusetts’ economy—and growing,” Sen. Marc Pacheco (D-Taunton) told Local Chambers of Commerce the day after his committee introduced new energy legislation to help Massachusetts diversify its energy sources and satisfy corporate demand for more renewable energy.
“New Bedford should absolutely be the national cluster for offshore wind” as a center of operations and workforce training, said Derek Santos, Executive Director of the New Bedford Economic Development Council. “There should be no reason why folks aren’t trained in New Bedford for projects all over the eastern coast of the United States.”
Massachusetts chambers and their member companies had an engaging dialogue with Rep. Golden (D – Lowell) and Sen. Pacheco (D – Taunton) on a Sept. 20th briefing call to learn more about the recently passed energy legislation, An Act to Promote Energy Diversity (H4568). Both legislators played key roles in the new legislation and are preparing for additional steps in 2017.
In 2010, the North Myrtle Beach Chamber helped build a coalition of local wind energy champions with a plan to bring clean energy investment, jobs, innovation, and statewide recognition to the town. The effort paid off: North Myrtle Beach became the first place in South Carolina to host a grid-connected wind turbine.
Early last year, the New Bedford Economic Development Council established a special wind energy center to boost efforts to develop the offshore wind industry in this southeastern Massachusetts town. Last weekend, the Mayor of New Bedford told a roomful of local chamber of commerce executives that wind energy will transform his city’s economy.