The #NBOC offshore wind glossary

The #NBOC offshore wind glossary

The #NBOC offshore wind glossary

By Steven Froias | For the New Bedford Ocean Cluster

There has been a lot of excitement in the greater New Bedford region – and beyond – since the steady stream of great news about the growing momentum of the offshore wind energy industry in this city and, indeed, in the United States. 

Yet, the New Bedford Ocean Cluster recognizes that it can be hard to wrap your brain around all these new bright shiny objects at once. Especially when an entirely new industry arrives with an entirely new vocabulary. 

No worries. We’re here to help. 

From time to time, we’ll compile and share with you the terminology you need to know. Never enough to drag you under, but just enough to keep you afloat as this new chapter of maritime history unfolds.

Now, some of the lingo and jargon may be second-hand to folks who already work in the industry or have read up on the subject. But we’re guessing that just as many more have no idea what, exactly, is the Jones Act. Or what GWO stands for. 

Neither did most of us until we got involved in the promise of renewable energy. Now that it’s happening right from our own shores, in fact from the very Port of New Bedford and the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal, it’s time we share the love. 

So, we’ll begin with a few words or terms regarding Offshore Wind – frequently abbreviated to OSW – to get you aloft and blowing in the wind. We’ll add more in future posts and eventually compile them all together into the #NBOC glossary on this website – the first of many resources you can expect to see going forward. 

THE JONES ACT: Has nothing to do with Davy Jones Locker – but everything to do with keeping ship building in the United States strong. The Jones Act requires that all vessels carrying goods between two U.S. points be American-built, -owned, -crewed and -flagged. In the OSW industry (see what we did there? Hope you were paying attention above!) the Jones Act means purpose-built vessels in the U.S. to help facilitate the construction of OSW farms. 

GWO: It’s not something stamped on organic food to certify that it is non-GMO. (That’s Genetically Modified Organism.) Rather GWO refers to the offshore wind training certificate you receive after a course of study. It stands for Global Wind Organization, a group of industry experts who, since 2012, has set the standard for people working in the wind industry, both onshore and offshore. You can, in fact, become GWO certified with Bristol Community College’s National Offshore Wind Institute (NOWI) program. 

INTERCONNECTION: Though it sounds like the title of the latest Chris Nolan blockbuster, you won’t find Leonardo DiCaprio becoming interconnected. (That would be “Inception.”) For offshore wind generation projects, interconnection involves the transport of electricity generated offshore to onshore landings, known as points of interconnection (POI). 

INDEPENDENT SYSTEM OPERATOR: From a POI, electricity is injected into the grid, which is operated by an Independent System Operator (ISO). That’s an independent and federally regulated entity that coordinates regional transmission to ensure non-discriminatory access to the electric grid and a reliable electricity system.

We’ll stop here before we all begin to feel a bit like Leo in Inception. Upside down and turned all around, not unlike an offshore wind turbine blade!

Until next time, go forth and impress your friends and family with OSW cocktail chatter, courtesy of the New Bedford Ocean Cluster. 

The New Bedford Ocean Cluster (NBOC) is a newly established 501(c)(3) non-profit organization created to serve the maritime business community in the greater New Bedford region. The NBOC’s mission is to leverage New Bedford’s coastal position, marine knowledge base, and landside capacity to drive employment and wealth creation for New Bedford residents. This shall be done through a dynamic approach combining recruitment of targeted businesses, creation of unique economic infrastructure, workforce development, and support for homegrown ocean economy companies.




(New Bedford, MA) – Via Press Release: The New Bedford Ocean Cluster (NBOC) today announced that it is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. The NBOC’s mission is to leverage New Bedford’s coastal position, marine knowledge base, and landside capacity to drive employment and wealth creation in Greater New Bedford. The NBOC looks to accomplish this through a dynamic approach, combining recruitment of targeted businesses, creation of unique economic infrastructure, workforce development, and support for homegrown ocean economy companies. 

The New Bedford Ocean Cluster will seek to enhance the City and Port of New Bedford’s existing strengths in maritime industries, while advancing new programs, start-ups and technology partnerships with a primary focus in four different industry areas. These four industry areas include: Commercial Fishing and Processing, Aquaculture, Offshore Renewables, and the Innovation & Technology Sector. The NBOC was originally formed in 2015 as a program of the New Bedford Port Authority. In 2019, the NBOC merged with the former New Bedford Wind Energy Center, which focused on business development in the offshore wind industry. 

The NBOC is governed by a ten member Board of Directors who represent key focus areas of the organization. Recently, elections were held to nominate and select members of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors. Former New Bedford Mayor John Bullard will serve as the President of the Board, along with former New Bedford Port Director Edward Anthes-Washburn as Vice President, and Jennifer J. Menard, Vice President, Economic and Business Development, Interim – Bristol Community College, as Treasurer and Secretary. The remaining board members are as follows: Keith Decker (CEO of Blue Harvest Fisheries), John Quinn (Assistant Dean for Public Interest Law & External Relations: University of Massachusetts Dartmouth), Anthony R. Sapienza (President, New Bedford Economic Development Council), Chris Rezendes (Professor Emeritus – Marine Biology & Aquaculture Extension Specialist: Roger Williams University), and Michael Quinn (Co-Owner: Quinn Fisheries, Inc.). 

NBOC President John Bullard had this to say about the organization and his role within it, “I have often said you can describe New Bedford in one word: seaport. We send our people to sea. The mission of the New Bedford Ocean Cluster is to build on that centuries old relationship to create economic opportunity for future generations by building on our dominance in commercial fishing, leading the way in offshore wind, breaking new ground in marine technology, and joining the fast growing field of marine aquaculture. These four fields and the relationships between each of them create the potential for thousands of local jobs that pay well and that involve every segment of our diverse community. I am honored that Mayor Mitchell invited me to serve on this mission for New Bedford’s future. We have a dynamic Board with world class expertise in all the fields where we will operate and I am humbled to have been asked to lead them.” 

Mayor Jon Mitchell serves on the NBOC’s Board of Directors in an Ex Officio role, stated, “The NBOC will be instrumental in ensuring New Bedford achieves its full potential as a leading maritime center. We seek to capitalize on our advantages in fishing, offshore wind and other industries so that we can create new and sustainable opportunities for the residents of our region. ”

Offshore Wind Orientation begins this Aug. 2021

Offshore Wind Orientation begins this Aug. 2021

NEW BEDFORD, MA – On Thursday, July 8, elected officials and community leaders got to tour the future National Offshore Wind Institute (NOWI) training facility in New Bedford (pictured above). It’s a partnership between Denmark-based Maersk Training and Bristol Community College (BCC), and in the near future it will offer hands-on safety training and classroom technical training. (LEARN MORE HERE.) 

Though the facility is aways from being operational, BCC isn’t wasting any time entering the offshore wind training field of study. 

Indeed, beginning on August 11, 2021 it will be offering online Offshore Wind Orientation classes. 

“This 2-day, 4-hour class (8am-10am) is aimed at those looking to understand more about the sector, with the intention of becoming part of the supply chain, or for satisfying general interest in this emerging industry. 

“Equally, the course aims to provide students with a broad vocabulary of offshore wind and the confidence to engage with offshore wind professionals in a coherent manner,” the school states. 

BCC notes that, even as NOWI is being built out, it is important to begin instruction now. The orientation classes are a prerequisite to all other Offshore Wind classes. Therefore, they have scheduled an opportunity roughly each month through December to take the two-day, four hour class. (You can register for each and learn more AT THIS LINK.) 

As Vineyard Wind Manager of Workforce and Supply Chain Development Jen Cullen says, “The training that they are offering here, we will absolutely need for the workforce that we’ll be sending onshore. We’re looking really to train as many locals into the workforce as we can.”

BCC cites these statistics in the course offering: The U.S. Department of Energy forecasts the industry will employ 43,000 people along the East Coast by 2030, and as a result, will create thousands of jobs in southeastern Massachusetts, providing area residents career opportunities in the emerging 21st-century global economy. “

So, while NOWI is being built at 198 Herman Melville Boulevard along the New Bedford waterfront, you can start building your offshore wind credentials beginning this summer and fall. The classes are instructed by Dr. Alan Lowdon, Director of Strategic Development for NOWI. And once again, you can register AT THIS LINK


  • The New Bedford Ocean Cluster works collaboratively with a range of private sector, public sector and academic partners to establish New Bedford as the leading ocean economy on the East Coast. If you’re interested in aligning your marine-based business or organization with the cluster, contact us here.

The New Bedford Ocean Cluster Surfaces

By Steven Froias

The City of New Bedford, Massachusetts has a legendary relationship with the ocean. This history was immortalized in literature in none other than the great American novel, Moby-Dick by Herman Melville. 

In the book, and in actual life during the 1850s, New Bedford was the world-wide center of whaling, from which the nascent industrial revolution drew its energy. It is said of the city that it literally spread light around the globe, as whale oil was the preferred fuel to illuminate the night. 

Today, New Bedford stands on the precipice of a new age in energy production – one far more enlightened and less savage than the brutal whaling industry which first brought it fame and fortune. This future will be defined by offshore wind, a sustainable resource which is poised to characterize the 21st century in ways unforeseen right now. That story is just now beginning to be written. 

But it is known that the tale to be told is made possible due to the legacy and prominence of the Port of New Bedford, the nation’s number one fishing port and a multifaceted enterprise that still defines the city.

Now, from this storied place, something new has arisen.

In Moby-Dick, Melville wrote, “It is not down on any map; true places never are.” 

That is where the New Bedford Ocean Cluster exists. 

The New Bedford Ocean Cluster is best understood as the place where the essential infrastructure necessary to build both a sustainable and renewable marine economy will be found. Just as sail-makers and coopers; whalemen and deckhands; inventors and visionaries came together to enable New Bedford to fulfill its destiny as the Whaling City, the New Bedford Ocean Cluster is the partnership which will guide the city into a second century of oceanport prominence. 

The Port of New Bedford has created the New Bedford Ocean Cluster with the following mission statement in mind:

The New Bedford Ocean Cluster will work collaboratively with a range of private sector, public sector and academic partners to establish New Bedford as the leading ocean economy on the east coast of the United States. The NBOC will:

  1. Create a New Bedford maritime business network by serving both as a clearinghouse for business-to-business interaction and the leading convener of maritime businesses, while leveraging the networks, the port’s unique infrastructure and maritime know-how to attract investment and support the formation and growth of ocean economy businesses.
  2. Make the Port of New Bedford the first port of call of the offshore wind industry in the United States 
  3. Become the model for other ports to facilitate commercial collaboration between port industries and companies
  4. Develop strategies to create more value for our community from our natural ocean resources including fish, wind and aquaculture

Port of New Bedford Director Edward Port Director Anthes-Washburn, leading the New Bedford Ocean Cluster, says the addition of offshore wind is a natural fit for the port, as commercial fishing and wind energy share a mindset – “to go and harvest natural resources – in this case a renewable natural resource.” 

The overall vision is to strengthen and partner with the region’s powerful marine technology and business communities by practicing meaningful collaboration. The New Bedford Ocean Cluster will focus on the area’s legacy strengths in the Commercial Fishing industry and add to it the nascent Offshore Renewable Energy industry, Aquaculture, and BlueTech / the Internet of Things (IoT). The initiative is designed to embrace and enable the entire scope of the region’s maritime economy and help all of it flourish and grow together. 

City of New Bedford Mayor Jon A. Mitchell states, “The Port is the primary economic driver of the region because it offers competitive advantages to the various industries that call it home, including commercial fishing, recreational boating, ferry service, certain lines of international cargo, and soon, offshore wind.”

Indeed, in the last five years the port has seen a considerable influx of commercial fishing vessels from out-of-state ports, as well as the arrival or expansion of several major seafood processors. Meanwhile, the University of Massachusetts has completed a $55 million expansion of its School for Marine Science and Technology (SMAST) in the city, and the port’s recreational marinas have filled up. 

Also, the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal – critical infrastructure for the future – has been purpose-built to support the construction, assembly and deployment of offshore wind turbines. Already, Vineyard Wind and Mayflower Wind have signed leases worth over $30 million to utilize the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal as a staging area for North America’s first commercial-scale offshore wind farm.

In short, the Port of New Bedford with the New Bedford Ocean Cluster is charting a new course into the history books. It will make for a fascinating tale – with or without the appearance of a white whale. 

Instead, to paraphrase Melville, …the great floodgates of the wonder-world will swing wide open. 

The New Bedford Ocean Cluster welcomes you to sail through.

  • Follow the New Bedford Ocean Cluster on Facebook here and LinkedIn here. If you’d like to receive more information about your marine business or service organization becoming a partner, please send your interest via email to the following:

Commercial Fishing:

 Offshore Renewables: