‘Major breakthrough for New Bedford’: Old power plant to become wind facility

SE Mass

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) ─ The Port of New Bedford will nearly double in size as the city prepares to repurpose the decommissioned Cannon Street power station.

The 29-acre site has sat mostly dormant since it was brought offline in 1992. The city plans to breathe new life into the former power plant by redeveloping it into a staging area for offshore wind projects.

The city’s plan to repurpose the power plan is possible due in part to the pending sale of the entire site by its two owners, Eversource and Sprague Massachusetts Properties, to Cannon Street Holdings, a group of local investors.

Mayor Jon Mitchell called it a “major breakthrough for New Bedford.”

“Our economic development strategy has been founded on a central premise: we will make the most of New Bedford’s economic advantages to attract investment and create jobs for our residents,” Mitchell said. “More than anything else, that means bolstering our seaport, and no other location in the Port of New Bedford holds more potential for investment and growth than the Sprague/Eversource site, which for decades has stared back at the city, largely vacant and entirely underutilized.”

Mitchell said the redevelopment of the power station puts the city “in a leading position to compete in offshore wind, fishing and marine innovation for the long run.”

“It reflects that through careful planning and determination, we can achieve goals that were assumed to be out of reach, and activate our city’s potential to renew itself,” he said.

The city also hopes the site will also be utilized as a seafood offloading facility.

“We are very fortunate for the opportunity to participate along with City in this exciting project,” Andrew Saunders of Cannon Street Holdings said. “It will help revitalize and repurposed a piece of the waterfront which has been underutilized for far too long while at the same time bring new economic opportunity to the region.”

Right now, there are more than $24 billion worth of wind projects in the works that are within steaming distance from the site, officials said.

The city wouldn’t specify how much the project will cost or when it’s scheduled to be completed, but Saunders said plans to activate the site are currently in the works.

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