The New Bedford Ocean Cluster Inc. (NBOC), in partnership with Vineyard Wind 1 LLC (Vineyard Wind), has 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 Proposals issued by original equipment manufacturers 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.