Salem may look to Marblehead for offshore wind help

The proposed site for the Salem Offshore Wind Terminal is 42 acres of waterfront property in a Designated Port Area of Salem Harbor. Photo by Crowley Wind Services

Crowley Wind Services is looking to recruit town residents and be a “good neighbor” to the community as it constructs its Salem Offshore Wind Terminal project across Marblehead Harbor, according to the company’s terminal operations manager John Berry.

Berry updated Marblehead Select Board members on the project’s status at a meeting last week. He said the company is hoping to take advantage of the town’s workforce as it will need to hire longshoremen, crane operators, welders, painters, electricians, engineers, and managers to complete the project.

Crowley Wind Services plans to begin construction at a 42-acre waterfront property in a designated port area of Salem Harbor in the summer of 2023. Berry said the company hopes to have the terminal providing new heavy-lift deployment and logistics services for offshore wind operations by 2026.

“This is a brand new experience for Crowley to be involved in U.S. offshore wind but we’re very excited to be the very new owners of the Salem wind port across the harbor from your beautiful town,” Berry said. “I think we’re all up to the challenge and I think we’re going to be able to show the rest of the country and the world what we can do.”

Berry added that the company is hoping to work with the community often throughout the project. Select Board Chair Moses Grader and Town Administrator Thatcher Kezer thanked Berry for reaching out to Marblehead leaders ahead of construction.

“It’s great that you’re doing outreach,” Kezer said. “Not all industries or companies figure that out until it’s too late, so I appreciate the proactive approach.”

Berry said the company will likely host several public meetings for residents to attend to learn more about the project in the coming months. He added that the company will partner with maritime academies to offer opportunities for workforce development.

At a public hearing in June, Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll said she hoped the site would provide economic growth, increases in clean energy, and “very diverse and inclusive jobs” in Salem and nearby communities.

“The hope was always that the natural gas would be a bridge to the future on that particular site,” Driscoll said.

Berry echoed Driscoll’s sentiments while meeting with Select Board members last week.

“Especially because you will be having a very good view of the port from your west shore, we want to make sure that you know that this is really clean work and that we are going to be replacing all of this dirty energy that has unfortunately been hurting our environment,” Berry said. “There’s going to be a lot of room for opportunity for the community and I hope you’ll be very happy with what you’re seeing going on across the harbor.”