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Community Offshore Wind Joins Science Center for Marine Fisheries; First Offshore Wind Developer to Join

Monday, 24 June 2024 02:15 PM

Science Center for Marine Fisheries

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS / ACCESSWIRE / June 24, 2024 / The Science Center for Marine Fisheries (SCEMFIS) is pleased to announce that Community Offshore Wind is the latest company to join the Center as a member of its Industry Advisory Board (IAB). The company is the first offshore wind developer to join SCEMFIS.

Community Offshore Wind, a joint venture of RWE and National Grid Ventures, holds the largest offshore wind lease area in the New York Bight, the area between New York and New Jersey. As it works to bring clean energy from offshore wind to homes and businesses across the region, the project is focused on engaging with local communities, promoting dialogue and cooperation with the region's fishing industry, and working to balance the needs of existing ocean users and the emerging offshore wind power sector.

"Community Offshore Wind is committed to successful coexistence with commercial and recreational fisheries," said Deirdre Boelke, Fisheries Manager for Community Offshore Wind. "We support SCEMFIS' approach of science and industry working together for sustainable fisheries, and believe that the growth of offshore wind in the US is an opportunity for the fishing industry, researchers, and developers to identify innovative solutions to build resilient fisheries facing impacts of climate change and other challenges."

As a member of the Center, Community Offshore Wind will work with representatives of the fishing industry on the IAB to approve and fund needed research on finfish and shellfish. In addition to focusing on how these fish stocks are impacted by a changing climate, the company is also advocating for research on how to improve resiliency in key East Coast fisheries, and other steps to mitigate any potential impacts of offshore wind development.

In the time since Community Offshore Wind joined SCEMFIS, the Center has already begun funding research to help ensure the future viability of surfclam fisheries in the Northeast, with a total of $28,000 allocated to surfclam and shellfish enhancement research.

"We welcome the expertise that Community Offshore Wind will bring as the first offshore wind developer to join our organization," said Tom Dameron, the Government Relations and Fisheries Science Liaison of Surfside Seafood Products and a SCEMFIS IAB member. "They have taken the first step towards working with us to conduct important research that supports sustainable fisheries and ecosystems, and we hope that other wind developers will follow their lead and similarly engage with the fishing industry."

By joining SCEMFIS, Community Offshore Wind will benefit from the research and expertise of the universities participating in the Center. This includes leading marine scientists and researchers, as well as a talented pool of students and interns with backgrounds in marine biology, fluid dynamics, socioeconomics, and computer science. It allows for direct collaboration with fishing industry representatives, and direct input on developing and funding research projects, while lowering overhead research costs. Community Offshore Wind will also have access to the peer-reviewed research the Center regularly produces.

For its part, Community Offshore Wind brings to the Center deep expertise in cooperative fisheries research, fisheries management, and the regulatory process, making the Center the ideal collaborative forum for the offshore wind and fishing industries to work together.

Community Offshore Wind is also collaborating proactively with local commercial and recreational fishermen to protect ocean ecosystems, and has developed initiatives to mitigate potential impacts to the fishing industry since its launch. The developer continues to work with the Rotary Club of Huntington and Cornell Cooperative Extension Marine Program to restore oyster reefs on Long Island; donated over 90,000 meals of local, sustainable seafood to food banks throughout New Jersey and New York; and is developing project design elements to support coexistence with fisheries.

They are also the first offshore wind developer to sign a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a partnership that will transform environmental monitoring for offshore wind projects and increase transparency between researchers and developers.

About SCEMFIS

SCEMFIS utilizes academic and fisheries resources to address urgent scientific problems limiting sustainable fisheries. SCEMFIS develops methods, analytical and survey tools, datasets, and analytical approaches to improve sustainability of fisheries and reduce uncertainty in biomass estimates. SCEMFIS university partners, University of Southern Mississippi (lead institution), and Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary, are the academic sites. Collaborating scientists who provide specific expertise in finfish, shellfish, and marine mammal research, come from a wide range of academic institutions including Old Dominion University, Rutgers University, University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, University of Maryland, and University of Rhode Island.

The need for the diverse services that SCEMFIS can provide to industry continues to grow, which has prompted a steady increase in the number of fishing industry partners. These services include immediate access to science expertise for stock assessment issues, rapid response to research priorities, and representation on stock assessment working groups. Targeted research leads to improvements in data collection, survey design, analytical tools, assessment models, and other needs to reduce uncertainty in stock status and improve reference point goals.

About Community Offshore Wind

RWE and National Grid will bring clean energy to the Northeastern US in a joint venture called Community Offshore Wind. They will develop offshore wind on the largest parcel in the New York Bight with the potential to host 3 gigawatts (GW) of capacity, which is enough to power more than one million US homes and businesses. The project is expected to be in operation by the end of 2030. Community Offshore Wind is dedicated to investing in communities by bringing clean energy jobs to the region and growing the local economy. They will deliver sustainable energy safely, reliably, and efficiently to the communities they serve.

About RWE

RWE is leading the way to a green energy world. With its investment and growth strategy Growing Green, RWE is contributing significantly to the success of the energy transition and the decarbonization of the energy system. Around 20,000 employees work for the company in almost 30 countries worldwide. RWE is already one of the leading companies in the field of renewable energy. Between 2024 and 2030, RWE will invest 55 billion euros worldwide in offshore and onshore wind, solar energy, batteries, flexible generation, and hydrogen projects. By the end of the decade, the company's green portfolio will grow to more than 65 gigawatts of generation capacity, which will be perfectly complemented by global energy trading. RWE is decarbonizing its business in line with the 1.5-degree reduction pathway and will phase out coal by 2030. RWE will be net-zero by 2040. Fully in line with the company's purpose - Our energy for a sustainable life.

About National Grid Ventures

National Grid is an electricity, natural gas, and clean energy delivery company serving more than 20 million people throughout our networks in New York and Massachusetts. National Grid is focused on building a path to a more affordable, reliable clean energy future through our fossil-free vision.

National Grid Ventures (NGV) is the non-regulated division of National Grid plc, one of the largest investor-owned energy companies in the world. NGV operates outside of National Grid's core regulated businesses in the US and UK where it develops, operates and invests in energy projects, technologies and partnerships to accelerate the development of a clean energy future. NGV's diverse portfolio of low carbon and renewable energy businesses across the UK, Europe and US includes subsea electricity interconnectors, wind and solar power, and battery storage. For more information, visit https://www.nationalgrid.com/national-grid-ventures.

PRESS CONTACT:
Stove Boat Communications
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SOURCE: Science Center for Marine Fisheries

Topic:
Company Update
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