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Wind, waves, and tides: Ocean-based renewable energy center to open in New Bedford

The state plans to open the Ocean Renewable Energy Innovation Center on the New Bedford waterfront.
Jennette Barnes
The state plans to open the Ocean Renewable Energy Innovation Center on the New Bedford waterfront.

The state is looking for prospective tenants for a new center for ocean energy in New Bedford.

The exact location has not been identified, but the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, a state economic development agency, plans to open the facility in 2026 on the city’s waterfront.

Focused on wind, wave, and tidal power, it’s part business incubator, part workshop, said Bruce Carlisle, the agency’s managing director for offshore wind.

“The vision is that we are going to provide … physical space, co-working and office and the actual light manufacturing, workshopping, prototyping space,” he said.

Networking will be part of it, too.

“What we're creating is the stickiness and the convening of this space,” he said. “So it's not just a co-work space. … We're leaning in on the convening and connecting industry and entrepreneurs and government, and academic partners and nonprofits.”

The project is called the Ocean Renewable Energy Innovation Center.

Carlisle said state funding will cover $10 million in anticipated capital expenses to open the center and pay a portion of operating costs for the first several years. Annual operating costs are expected to run between $1 million and $1.5 million, he said.

The facility will be roughly 30,000 square feet, with half devoted to office and conference spaces and half to workshops and development.

Operating funds will come from a mix of public dollars and lease payments from tenants. Leases for startups will be subsidized, he said.

Non-binding letters of interest are due Friday.

Jennette Barnes is a reporter and producer. Named a Master Reporter by the New England Society of News Editors, she brings more than 20 years of news experience to CAI.