The New Bedford Ocean Cluster Inc. (NBOC), in partnership with Vineyard Wind 1 LLC (Vineyard Wind), announced the launch of Act Local, a program designed to maximize the positive economic impacts of the Vineyard Wind 1 project in the greater New Bedford region by encouraging local business participation in the offshore wind industry. The program is part of Vineyard Wind’s commitment to Look Local First in support of its Vineyard Wind 1 offshore wind farm.
“We are committed to seeing local and diverse businesses participate in the development of the offshore wind industry and want to ensure there is a clear path for engagement, said Jennifer Cullen, Manager of Workforce & Supply Chain Development. “Act Local creates a direct link between our major suppliers who need products and services, and the local companies who can support their efforts.”
The Act Local Program, facilitated by global energy consultancy Xodus, is a streamlined matchmaking system designed to connect local businesses with offshore wind opportunities. It seeks to take major Requests for Proposal (RFP) issued by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and Tier 1 companies, and break them down into well-defined work scopes using clear language, allowing local companies to more easily self-identify as potential bidders, and to recognize work scopes within the RFP that relate to their product/service offerings. These work scopes are referred to as SMART opportunities—specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, and timely—and will be recorded online through the NBOC Portal.
“Vineyard Wind is a true partner in the economic growth in the region,” said John Bullard, NBOC President. “This innovative approach of directly connecting suppliers with opportunities highlights not only the strength of our local companies, but the commitment of Vineyard Wind to the region.”
Community leads from institutions such as local chambers of commerce and economic development organizations, who possess intimate knowledge of the local business environment and represent various sectors of the greater New Bedford region, will distribute these opportunities to relevant local companies that are capable and qualified to bid. Through this process OEMs and Tier 1s will be better equipped to “Look Local First”, and local companies will be informed of opportunities in the burgeoning offshore wind industry in a direct and timely fashion. Meet the Buyer events will be regularly carried out in New Bedford to provide a forum where prospective local offshore wind industry entrants can meet OEMs and Tier 1s face-to-face, making valuable connections and ensuring that the benefits realized from offshore wind development in the region, stay in the region.
The Act Local Program is the result of collaboration between Vineyard Wind, NBOC, and Xodus. It recognizes the importance of local content in building out the offshore wind supply chain in the greater New Bedford region following the Record of Decision recently issued by the Bureau of Offshore Energy Management (BOEM) for the Vineyard Wind 1 project. Act Local answers the call of both local businesses and major offshore wind OEMs and Tier 1 companies that seek to maximize local content, but recognize that the nascency of the industry means local companies are not yet fully aware of where they fit and what they can offer. Phase 1 of the Act Local Program will cover the Wind Turbine Generator, and Transportation & Installation packages of the Vineyard Wind 1 project, but may be expanded in the future to cover additional packages and projects.