One-time coal-fired power plant site to be an international hub for offshore wind

Written by Heather Ervin
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Brayton Point Commerce Center received its first cargo shipment at its new marine commerce terminal in October 2019.

Over the past 18 months, the transformation of Brayton Point in Somerset, Mass., has reached significant milestones as the landscape shifted from its historic use as a coal-fired power plant to an international marine terminal. The brownfield redevelopment investment envisioned by Commercial Development Company Inc. (CDC) is becoming reality as the site evolves towards becoming a sustainable logistics and manufacturing center, a renewable energy hub and an international seaport.

Russ Becker, president of EnviroAnalytics Group, reports “Demolition at Brayton Point has progressed to its final stages across most of the site. Grading activities will commence this spring to prepare laydown and manufacturing areas for future tenants. The grading plan is designed in accordance with the offshore wind industry requirements for a marshaling port and manufacturing of offshore wind components.”

“Our crews have safely deconstructed and removed 1.5 million square feet of former power plant infrastructure. We now have a blank canvas to create a platform for new development as the site matures into Brayton Point Commerce Center,” said Becker.

Throughout the reclamation process, CDC has been engaged in extensive discussions with major offshore wind industry companies. Prospective tenants include manufacturing, logistics, cable interconnections, maintenance, and other bulk materials.

“The goal with our investment is to utilize attributes that made Brayton Point successful in the past, while supporting future energy needs, the local tax base and local employment,” said Stephen Collins, executive vice president at CDC. “We have seen significant interest from prospective tenants wishing to use the port for offshore wind operations. These discussions take time as the investments are sizable.”

Of particular interest to the offshore wind sector are Brayton Point’s now proven abilities to conduct efficient heavy lift port operations and receive deep-draft ocean-going vessels at the site’s newly redeveloped marine commerce terminal. As of today Brayton Point Commerce Center has received a total of nine vessel calls. These ships have included offshore wind research vessels, yacht transporters, bulk carriers and tug and barge units. Seeing the port working efficiently instills confidence in other groups looking at the site.

In May 2019, Anbaric announced an agreement with CDC to establish a 1200- Megawatt (MW) high voltage direct current converter and 400 MW of battery storage at Brayton Point to support the offshore wind industry. CDC continues to work with Anbaric, aiming to bring this plan to fruition.

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