Regional News

State looks to double offshore wind power output

The Baker administration is on board with pursuing additional renewable energy procurements that would double the amount of possible offshore wind power in Massachusetts, enough to provide roughly a third of the state’s electricity demand. The Department of Energy Resources on Friday released its report on “the necessity, benefits and costs” of pursuing an additional 1,600 megawatts of offshore wind power, which the Legislature last year authorized but did not mandate, and concluded it would be a good bet for ratepayers, the environment and the economy.


$825 million for South Coast Rail included in bond bill

BOSTON — Some $825 million in state bonding authority has been included in the most recent transportation bond bill filed Thursday by Governor Charlie Baker, according to a press statement from Senator Mark C. Montigny. The longtime New Bedford senator has been among those championing significant bonding authorizations necessary to complete the project.


Vineyard Wind says project at risk

VINEYARD WIND says its offshore wind farm could be in jeopardy if the federal government fails to approve its environmental impact statement over the next six weeks.


Language is no barrier at STEAM summer camp

Dozens of middle-schoolers from New Bedford and Fall River public schools embraced science and technology — and their place in it — at a camp designed for English-language learners at UMass Dartmouth this summer.


UMass Dartmouth and SouthCoast Development Partnership convene regional marine science and technology corridor event

On Friday, June 28, UMass Dartmouth and the SouthCoast Development Partnership brought together more than 125 regional business leaders, marine science and technology firms, researchers, and elected officials from across Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island to the UMass Dartmouth School for Marine Science and Technology in New Bedford.


Centuries-old whaling logs yield clues for modern-day climate studies

UMASS Dartmouth historian & WHOI oceanographer mine centuries-old ship logs for climate model data. Cobblestone streets lead to the New Bedford Whaling Museum where Abigail Field is seated in the library, isolated from the heat and humidity, the blazing sun reduced to a creamy vanilla by the drawn blinds. At 21, Field, a history major at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, is firmly in the here and now.


New Bedford High students participate in week-long intensive leadership program

NEW BEDFORD — Several students from New Bedford High School recently participated in a week-long Stone Soup Leadership Institute’s Summit. On June 13, the New Bedford community celebrated Ke-Shawn Bennett, Dona Bonnie, Benjamin Lobo, and Micah Ortiz who were nominated to represent their community at the Stone Soup Leadership Institute’s 15th Youth Leadership Summit for Sustainable Development. Held at New Bedford High School, Headmaster Bernadette Coelho, educators and the guidance department, came together to honor these youth and parents.

System eyed to bring offshore energy to land

BOSTON — As Massachusetts signals its intent to pursue enough additional renewable energy to double the amount of possible offshore wind power in Massachusetts, some lawmakers are hoping to begin a conversation about how that power generated at sea should be brought onto shore and into homes.


Funds for rail, harbor dredging included in governor’s capital spending plan

The Baker-Polito administration announced its fiscal year 2020 Capital Investment Plan Thursday, with funding for two major projects in the city. The plan includes $10 million for the city’s harbor dredging project and $115 million for South Coast Rail. The funding for dredging is “part of the Administration’s continuing commitment to economic development in the Southeastern region of the Commonwealth” according to a press release from the governor’s office.


Brayton Point owner paves way for a busy port

SOMERSET — The Missouri-based company that owns the former Brayton Point Power Station has announced a new port operations and lease agreement for the property, which the company says will help attract additional tenants to the site. Commercial Development Company announced last month that the Wakefield-based Anbaric would open the Anbaric Renewable Energy Center on Brayton Point by 2021. The facility would be capable of converting 1,200 megawatts of electricity generated by nearby wind farms, but it would take up only a portion of the Brayton Point property.


South Coast Rail begins culverts from Middleboro to Fall River, around the clock work near Galleria Mall

MassDOT has begun Early Action construction projects on South Coast Rail to prepare for Phase 1 main line rail construction contracts. The first visible active construction project is drainage culvert replacement along the right-of-way.


Energy expert in Fall River: Yes, wind means jobs

FALL RIVER — Offshore wind could create a sizable number of jobs, particularly in coastal cities, energy expert Philippe Frangules said Thursday during a keynote presentation at an ocean energy conference in Fall River. “This is a big job creation story,” he said.


UMass Dartmouth and Air National Guard sign cybersecurity education and workforce development agreement

UMass Dartmouth and the 102nd Intelligence Wing of the Air National Guard today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to develop education and workforce training in cybersecurity for personnel at Joint Base Cape Cod and university students.


SMAST studies on wind and fisheries poised to begin

NEW BEDFORD — Fisheries scientists at the UMass Dartmouth School for Marine Science and Technology will begin a series of studies this spring to evaluate the effects of large-scale offshore wind farms on fish populations and habitat.


International buyers find ‘world-renowned seafood’ in New Bedford

NEW BEDFORD — Seafood buyers from 14 countries visited the city’s leading seafood companies on Friday. Buyers from Asia, Europe and the Middle East toured BASE New England Seafood Auction, Bergie’s Seafood, Atlantic Capes Fisheries and East Coast Seafood. Countries represented on the tour included China, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom and Vietnam.


‘Inventing the future’: 4 takeaways from UMass Dartmouth’s Blue Economy day

“Jay Ash, Massachusetts’ Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, sat on the final panel of the day. As he listened to the previous presentations, he learned more about the region in a three-hour span than in the past three years. “And I get paid to know about you,” Ash said. “You’re not celebrating yourself enough…The fact of the matter is, if you’re not talking about you, a lot of other people aren’t talking about you.”


A framework for offshore wind energy innovation

Scientists at UMass Dartmouth’s School for Marine Science & Technology (SMAST) are among the researchers collaborating with eight institutions that have been awarded funding from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center. The funding enables these academic and research institutions in the Commonwealth to pursue a plan for advancing U.S. innovation in offshore wind energy, known as POWER-US (Partnership for Offshore Wind Energy Research).


Senators Propose Bill to Expand Lobster Processing

BOSTON — Without reform, the state’s lobster laws are confounding consumers and the multi-million dollar seafood industry, says a bipartisan coalition of state senators.


CommonWealth Magazine: South Coast Rail optimism grows

South Coast Rail optimism grows STATE TRANSPORTATION OFFICIALS still need to work out how to pay for South Coast Rail and who should be in charge of the first phase of its construction, but on Monday, they sounded as if the long-delayed project was a go. James Eng, the deputy rail administrator for the Massachusetts Department.


Aloisi wrong on South Coast Rail, Phased service makes sense, commute times are getting worse

Aloisi wrong on South Coast Rail, Phased service makes sense, commute times are getting worse NEARLY A DECADE AGO, former transportation secretary James Aloisi assured the residents of the South Coast region that South Coast Rail would become a reality. “This is not just a vision anymore; it’s a plan . . . We’re building.”


Our View: Blue economy potential lies somewhere between competition and collaboration

Our View: Blue economy potential lies somewhere between competition and collaboration UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Robert Johnson’s work to bring stakeholders of the blue economy together for a daylong seminar on the burgeoning marine technology industry recently offered attendees an exciting glimpse at the industry’s potential for the SouthCoast. Johnson, who comes from the Detroit.


Polito: SouthCoast rail service to Boston a ‘priority’

WESTPORT — State leadership is “100 percent committed” to bringing long-discussed commuter rail service to SouthCoast and soon, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito told a room full of local business leaders last week. “It’s our administration’s priority to make sure this becomes a reality within the next five years,” she said at the SouthCoast Chamber gathering.


UMass Dartmouth to unveil RapidLab operation Friday

DARTMOUTH, Mass. – A ribbon-cutting event will be held at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Friday to launch its RapidLab prototyping operation, the school announced Tuesday. The lab, which will support multiple startup businesses located on the campus, will house 3-D printers, 3-D scanners and other equipment, which can quickly produce prototypes.


Our View: UMass chancellor sets a plan for economic growth

A big reason for the high levels of dissatisfaction among middle- and working-class voters, particularly baby boomers, is the sense that the prosperity of the preceding generation has vanished. The post-war boom that created the largest, most prolific economy ever seen has withered away, in their eyes, and to a great degree, they’re not wrong.


Unemployment hits 16-year low in Fall River

The employment picture continued to brighten locally. Unemployment in Fall River during November was recorded at 4.1 percent.


Clean energy jobs top 100,000 for first time in Mass., according new report

The clean energy industry in Massachusetts has continued its steady growth, employing more than 100,000 people for the first time and generating $11.8 billion worth of economic activity in 2015, according to the latest report from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center.