NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — The mayor of New Bedford believes the newly announced Massachusetts wind farm will be “big” for the city, saying it will be a shot in the arm for economy and create new jobs. 

His reaction comes the day after both Massachusetts and Rhode Island announced they’re moving forward with building wind farms out at sea.

On Wednesday, Massachusetts state leaders announced plans for a 100 turbine farm about 15 miles off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard.

Vineyard Wind, the company chosen to construct the wind farm, is based in New Bedford, and the staging area for the project is there as well.

“What it will mean for us is really good job opportunities, especially in the maritime sector, it will be a way of diversifying our port economy and it will be a way for us to continue to offer opportunities to our  residents,” Mitchell said.

But fishermen whose home port is in New Bedford have expressed concerns about the project and its potential impacts on their industry, including how they navigate the waters.

“Their concerns are legitimate,” Mitchell said. “I mean if you’re out in the middle of the North Atlantic on an 85-foot scalloper, you might not welcome the appearance of a large, immovable object right in the middle of your path.”

Mitchell said they’ll be working closely with the fishing industry to address those concerns. Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker said the same on Wednesday.

In the meantime, Mitchell hopes New Bedford will become a hub for wind power, citing the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal, which will be the project’s staging area, and the port’s close proximity to the proposed site. 

“What we’re hoping to do is allow the industry to set down roots here and work successfully side by side with the fishing industry and create opportunities for our residents,” Mitchell said.