Considering a Transition of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard into a
Wind Turbine Research, Fabrication, and Maintenance Facility
The Seacoast Anti-Pollution League is a key member of WindASSIST. Together we are encouraging real-world, economically viable solutions for a safer, cleaner energy future for Maine and New Hampshire. While many people worry about the day that the Shipyard may close down forever, transitioning this uniquely equipped location and highly skilled workforce into a wind turbine facility would ensure its continued (and expanded) use – all while benefitting our economy, environment, and public safety.
Why the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard?
The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNSY) is ideally suited as a tech research, fabrication, and maintenance facility because:
It contains significant waterfront industrial infrastructure including dry docks, heavy lift cranes, and warehouses.
- It has an existing workforce trained in marine engineering, construction, repair, and maintenance, ideal for this transition.
- It’s perfectly located for deep-water access to offshore sites in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts.
The Shipyard currently devotes huge financial resources and key waterfront real estate to the maintenance and refueling of Cold War-era submarines which are costly and often impracticable. Just this April, the Department of Defense reported that the United States has excess capacity at its military installations, meaning inefficiency, waste, and needed closures. The Deputy Secretary of Defense said “spending resources on excess infrastructure does not make sense,” and the DOD has directly asked Congress to authorize a round of BRAC (Base Realignment and Closures).
Instead of dwelling on and resisting the evolution of defense in our country, we should see this as an opportunity to take proactive measures. The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard has the distinct opportunity to serve its country in a new light, bringing in new technology and jobs for our citizens, delivering safe, renewable energy, helping the country gain a new level of independence, and generating future income. This facility absolutely has the talent, infrastructure, and location to retool, adapt, and innovate for the future.
There is Already a Precedent for Public – Private Partnerships
The US Navy already has a program in place for this very application. The Navy’s Enhanced Use Leasing Program allows the Navy to “maximize the utility and value” of their sites while providing “greater flexibility for facility use and reuse.” Other military facilities around the country are already hosting private development, including renewable energy projects.
What’s Happening RIGHT NOW
- The State of Maine has proposed to provide 500 Megawatts (MW) of offshore wind power by 2020 and 5,000 MW by 2030. That’s more than twice the total energy that the state of Maine currently uses.
- A Google-led consortium recently pledged $5 billion to build an underwater transmission line up the East Coast over the next decade in order to transfer power throughout the electric grid, from wherever generated to wherever needed.
- The US Department of Energy has determined that the United States could generate 10,000 MW of offshore wind power by 2020 and 54,000 MW by 2030.
- Offshore wind turbine technology has come a long way. The latest designs feature floating turbines which allow for cheaper installation, placement further offshore, and much less interference with marine and bird life.
- Europe is already having success with offshore wind. Read an article on the Scotland floating wind farm that was created by the Norwegian energy company Statoil (article also has an amazing video).
FLOATING WIND TURBINES AROUND THE WORLD – OFF THE COAST AND ON THE GRID!
WindASSIST (the Alliance for a Seacoast Shipyard in Sustainable Transition) is a coalition of scientists and environmental advocates from Maine and New Hampshire, including: the Seacoast Anti-Pollution League, NH Sierra Club, 350 NH, Seacoast Area Renewable Energy Initiative (SEAREI), Portsmouth-Severodvinsk Connection, Seacoast Peace Response, NH Peace Action, and Peace Action Maine.
Wind ASSIST is funded in part by: The Anne Slade Frey Charitable Trust and the New England Grassroots Environmental Fund
For more information or to get involved, please contact SAPL Executive Director Doug Bogen at firstname.lastname@example.org