As Sponsors of MIT’s Energy Venture Alumni Event, celebrating the past 10 years, Mintz Levin’s attorneys are taking this opportunity to countdown the top 10 moments in energy which they feel impacted the industry and their practice.
Moment #8: New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal
The ground breaking of the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal in 2013 – the nation’s first facility specifically designed to serve the unique needs of the offshore wind industry – continues to stand out in my mind. I was General Counsel at the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (the project developer and owner) during the design of that facility, and I clearly recall learning how different and demanding offshore wind was from almost every other offshore activity. Lifting and loading wind turbines onto barges for delivery to offshore sites puts incredible loads on a terminal’s surface that are akin to what a runway suffers when a Boeing 747 lands. It’s no exaggeration to say that offshore wind projects would literally crush a typical commercial port, and solving that problem required collaboration among the wind industry, technology companies and a variety of federal, state and local leaders. I appreciated that moment not only because it signaled a new opportunity to tap renewable resources, but also because it is a reminder that something as mundane-looking as a marine terminal (which looks like a glorified parking lot from outside the fence) can be the key to unlocking tremendous innovation.