The UMass Dartmouth Public Policy Center is responding to the need for information and analysis of the offshore wind industry that is emerging in Massachusetts and elsewhere along the East Coast.
The Offshore Wind Economics Project (OSWEP) will focus on developing insights and evidence to inform policymaking and help make the most of the economic and community benefits associated with offshore wind developments.
"The emergence of the offshore wind industry in the United States offers us a tremendous opportunity to capture and record the evolution of a brand new economic sector," said Michael Goodman, executive director of the Public Policy Center. "Over the past two years, we have developed the deep subject matter expertise and experience that will be required to take full advantage of that opportunity."
OSWEP builds on the expertise of the Public Policy Center’s faculty and staff, the offshore wind developments proposed in Massachusetts and Connecticut by Vineyard Wind, and the economic and workforce implications of the full build-out of offshore wind in Massachusetts. The state legislature initially approved solicitations of 1,600 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind, an amount it recently doubled to 3,200MW. Vineyard Wind was selected in May as the preferred provider of the first 800MW.
Regions with port infrastructure, a skilled workforce, and proximity to wind resources will benefit most from the offshore wind industry.
"Community leaders, economic and workforce development practitioners, and policymakers will need actionable data and analysis to quickly and effectively respond to these opportunities. That is what OSWEP is designed to provide," noted Elise Korejwa, public policy center senior research associate and OSWEP project manager.