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Column: Wind terminal a generational opportunity for Salem and North Shore

A rendering of the planned new waterfront access point at the end of Blaney Street.

Posted on November 13, 2023

This August, while standing on the bridge of the Sea Installer during the wind vessel’s maiden visit to the Salem Wind Terminal site, a senior member of the Carpenters Union told me that his members thought the construction of Salem’s Footprint power plant from 2016-2018 was the once in a generation opportunity for the workforce of the North Shore.

But now the Salem Wind Terminal will be another opportunity, not only for this generation, but also the next.

America’s nationwide goal of achieving 30 gigawatts of power generated from offshore wind by 2030 is a significant opportunity for the North Shore — and especially Salem.

The locally-led team at Crowley Wind Services jumped at the chance to partner with the city of Salem and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to build up the area’s clean energy infrastructure, designing the terminal to create economic investment and sustainable jobs here. By working with, and listening to, our partners and local residents, we will turn a brownfield site, a former coal-fired energy plant, into a key hub that supports renewable energy and incorporates the community’s plan to create safe public waterfront access as well as ferry and cruise ship berthing.

Driving economic impact in Salem and beyond

Our company brings a 131-year heritage of family-owned, U.S.-based maritime, logistics and energy expertise to Salem. Crowley Wind Services operates in five areas to support offshore wind energy providers: Developing and operating marine terminals; vessel services such as tugs and barges; supply chain management; operations and maintenance; and offshore construction and installation services.

In Salem, our shared vision will develop a cutting-edge terminal, where components for wind turbines — blades, towers, nacelles and foundations — will be unloaded from ships, and pre-assembled before being loaded onto vessels for transportation to offshore installation sites. While Crowley will be the long-term operator of the facility, it is important to note that Crowley will not own or operate any wind turbines. Instead, sections of the site will be leased by wind farm developers, such as Avangrid, to support construction of offshore wind farms. Crowley’s operation of the terminal will ensure consistency, quality, safety, protection of the environment, and community engagement are top priorities.

This public-private partnership will be a linchpin in Massachusetts’ goal to reduce greenhouse gases as offshore wind is projected to provide 50 percent of Massachusetts energy by 2050. The facility design also reflects Crowley’s commitment to reach net-zero emissions, and able to sustainably supply power to smaller vessels and cranes, and when technology and the grid is ready, larger vessels.

An investment in workforce development

At Crowley, we understand that the success of the offshore wind industry relies on a qualified workforce. Besides area business opportunities, the terminal will provide opportunities for jobs and prioritize hiring local residents, especially those from underserved backgrounds. This will include about 150 jobs during construction and at least 8 long-term Crowley employees to manage the terminal during operations, with an additional 20-30 jobs operating and maintaining the facility during busier periods. When projects are underway, 60 to 150 jobs, from engineers to building trades, will also be available through our tenants and their contractors.

Because building the workforce for this new industry is critical, Crowley has already partnered with the Massachusetts Maritime Academy and Salem High School to provide career training.

Holding the door open to our community

Crowley is committed to long-term partnerships to support the region’s clean energy goals, while delivering benefits to the community we call home. We support a community benefits agreement that includes creating public access to the harbor and redeveloping a berth for future cruise ship visits. That vision would result in new waterfront point access at the end of Blaney Street (pictured), while a new Blaney Street-to-Derby Street connector path will be installed at the western corner of the terminal to continue the existing Harborwalk. In the meantime, we are working with the neighborhood to design a facility that respects traffic, safety and operates lighting in the most respectful way possible.

In line with Massachusetts’ environmental goals, we are working on stormwater improvements with a focus on sustainability. We understand and appreciate the needs expressed by leaders to meet and exceed standards, and we have recently enhanced our designs.

As the project now advances toward further consideration by the Planning Board and Conservation Commission this month, we are eager to discuss how we got here, the issues at stake for energy goals in Salem, and to hear from the community.

We are excited to engage with the community, including about jobs and business opportunities, on Nov. 15, when we will open the gates to visit the terminal site at the Blaney Street gate from 4 to 5:30 p.m. and host our latest public engagement meeting at 6 p.m. at The House of the Seven Gables, 115 Derby St.

Learning and hearing from many residents and groups has made this project better. Residents and potential business partners with questions, job interest or ideas can reach us at or visit We look forward to being your partner in supporting a sustainable community.

Graham Tyson is vice president of operations at Crowley Wind Services, a U.S. Coast Guard veteran and resides on the North Shore.


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