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Mayflower Wind settles into Fall River

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Sarah Mizes-Tan
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Fall River is emerging as a hotspot in the burgeoning offshore wind industry.

Mayflower Wind, which holds a state contract to construct a windfarm 20 miles south of Nantucket, is planning an operations and maintenance port on Fall River’s waterfront. And the developer is opening a new office downtown.

“It’s sort of our stake in the ground showing our commitment to the South Coast,” said Dan Hubbard, the company’s director of external affairs.

“One of the things that we want to use this office for is not only just as a working live office for Mayflower,” said Hubbard, “but it's also a place for community outreach to bring in students, to bring in developers, to bring in the community and talk with them about the project.”

When complete, the South Main Street office will host one third of Mayflower’s 75 employees, said Hubbard, adding that the operations and maintenance port would provide 360 full-time jobs.

Mayflower has also contracted Somerset-based Gladding-Hearn Shipyard to build crew transfer vessels for its windfarms.

Mayflower’s initial contract provides for 804 megawatts. However, that number would increase if it wins another power purchase agreement from Massachusetts. The state’s electrical utilities are currently reviewing bids before awarding the new agreement — both Mayflower Wind and Vineyard Wind, a competing developer, have submitted bids.

If selected, Mayflower would invest up to an additional $81 million on the South Coast, said Hubbard. The money would go toward infrastructure and supply chain development, as well as workforce training.

Mayflower Wind is a joint venture between Shell and Ocean Winds, a Europe-based renewables company.