(Updated, 4:20 p.m.)
NEW BEDFORD â€“ The developers of the $1 billion Cape Wind project hope to make a formal announcement soon about whether they will use New Bedford or Quonset Point in North Kingstown as a staging point for the 130-turbine wind farm.
Cape Wind Associates LLC has been in ongoing discussions with New Bedford officials about using the city as a staging port, The Standard-Times reported Thursday.
â€śWe havenâ€™t ruled [Quonset Point] out yet,â€ť Mark Rodgers, Cape Windâ€™s communications director, told the paper. â€śI think we would really like to make New Bedford work.â€ť
Cape Wind Associates plans to construct a 130-turbine wind farm north of Marthaâ€™s Vineyard and Nantucket. The turbines would be capable of generating up to 420 megawatts of electricity, enough to power more than 200,000 homes.
Representatives from Cape Wind and logistics companies that would support the project have visited or contacted Quonset about locating there, Steven King, managing director of the Quonset Development Corporation, said in an e-mail. One of the logistics companies contacted Quonset officials within the last 10 days, he said.
â€śWe are now rapidly approaching having 9,000 jobs at the business park,â€ť King said. â€śThere are many companies who have contacted us about coming to Quonset, and Cape Wind is one of those companies.â€ť
Cape Wind Associates had originally settled on using Quonset after evaluating six ports, but they became interested in New Bedford after heavy lobbying from Mayor Scott W. Lang, The Standard-Times reported in April.
â€śWhat is at stake here is New Bedfordâ€™s opportunity to become the stateâ€™s â€“ and indeed New Englandâ€™s â€“ offshore renewables logistics and operations hub,â€ť Matthew Morrissey, executive director of the New Bedford Economic Development Council, told The Standard-Times.
â€śThat opportunity, over time, will result in thousands of jobs that our people, our skilled work force today, can obtain,â€ť he added. â€śThat is absolutely in reach.â€ť