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From Old Power to New: Offshore Wind Staging Facility to Replace Shuttered Electric Plant

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Daniel Ackerman
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New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell spoke Wednesday about plans to redevelop the Cannon Street Power Station as a staging facility for offshore wind.

The Port of New Bedford is getting a makeover.

Mayor Jon Mitchell announced Wednesday that the shuttered Cannon Street Power Station, just south of downtown, will be demolished, and the site will be redeveloped as a staging area for the offshore industry.

The 30-acre waterfront site will become the city’s second dedicated offshore wind staging area, where turbines can be assembled prior to installation at windfarms planned off the coast of Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Mitchell said the redevelopment will allow New Bedford to win more contracts in the rapidly growing industry. The Biden administration estimates that by 2030 offshore windfarms will generate tens of billions of dollars and provide 44,000 jobs nationwide.

“What we’re trying to do here, in effect, is to grab as big of a piece of the pie as possible,” said Mitchell. “New Bedford has greatly enhanced—in fact close to doubled—its capacity to stage wind farms. That is really significant.”

Cannon Street Holdings LLC, an investor group, will manage the redevelopment after purchasing the site from Eversource and Sprague Energy. Officials did not disclose the cost of the sale.

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Daniel Ackerman
The Cannon Street Power Station has been decommissioned since the 1990s.

Officials said the staging area could be operational by the first half of 2023. In addition to offshore wind, a portion of the site will house waterfront restaurants and seafood processing facilities, said Mitchell.

Cannon Street Power Station was decommissioned as a power plant in the early 1990s. Since then, proposals to redevelop the site as an aquarium or casino never came to fruition.