2016 2016: UMass Dartmouth researchers receive funding for offshore wind research project

2016 2016: UMass Dartmouth researchers receive funding for offshore wind research project
UMass Dartmouth researchers receive funding for offshore wind research project

Massachusetts Clean Energy Center funds Massachusetts Research Partnership between UMass Dartmouth and five area academic and research institutions.

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) has awarded $50,000 to researchers at UMass Dartmouth to develop a multi-disciplinary framework for offshore wind research, focusing on increasing innovation and reducing costs and impacts.

UMass Dartmouth researchers (including the School for Marine Science & Technology, Charlton College of Business, and Public Policy Center) will collaborate with five area academic and research institutions (Northeastern University, Tufts University, University of Massachusetts Amherst, University of Massachusetts Lowell and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) to examine risks, finances, and regulations associated with the industry.

“This partnership is forming at a critical stage in the development of the offshore wind industry in New England, and will provide valuable expertise to support technology innovation and improve our understanding of impacts in the marine environment,” said Steven Lohrenz, Dean of UMass Dartmouth’s School for Marine Science & Technology.

SMAST to help guide regional offshore wind development

Additionally, the research team will partner with Bristol Community College and the Massachusetts Maritime Academy on an effort to identify the workforce requirements associated with the development and construction of offshore wind projects, examining the number of jobs by trade, the health and safety training requirements for offshore wind jobs, and the economic benefits to the Commonwealth these jobs would provide. This effort will help to establish training and health and safety programs to maximize local employment and ensure worker safety.

Earlier this month, Governor Charlie Baker signed a comprehensive energy bill that will have important implications for offshore energy development off of our coast. The bill's offshore wind component requires utilities to buy long-term contracts for at least 1,600 MW of the turbine-fueled power source, between 2017 and 2027. UMass Dartmouth will also play a role in understanding the impacts on the marine environment.

About UMass Dartmouth

UMass Dartmouth was elevated to Doctoral University – Higher Research Activity by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education following the release of its final 2015 classification in February.

The only Bay State research university located south of Boston distinguishes itself as a vibrant public university actively engaged in personalized teaching and innovative research, and acting as an intellectual catalyst for regional economic, social, and cultural development.

UMass Dartmouth's mandate to serve its community is realized through countless partnerships, programs, and other outreach efforts to engage the community, and apply its knowledge to help address local issues and empower others to facilitate change for all.

About MassCEC

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center is dedicated to accelerating the success of clean energy technologies, companies and projects in the Commonwealth—while creating high-quality jobs and long-term economic growth for the people of Massachusetts.

Since its inception in 2009, MassCEC has helped clean energy companies grow, supported municipal clean energy projects and invested in residential and commercial renewable energy installations creating a robust marketplace for innovative clean technology companies and service providers. Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton chairs MassCEC’s board of directors.