About the Commission
Establishment & Purpose
The New Hampshire Commission to Study Offshore Wind and Port Development (RSA:374-F:10) was established by the NH State Legislature in 2020.
The purpose of the Commission is to study the potential economic and environmental benefits and impacts of offshore wind development for the State of New Hampshire. The Commission is investigating the economic development opportunities for New Hampshire in supply chain needs, port capabilities, workforce development, energy procurement, transmission and storage, and fisheries and marine environment, to ensure the success of offshore wind in the Gulf of Maine. The Commission may also investigate whether contracts with developers and utilities can deliver lower costs to ratepayers.
Activities and findings of the Commission and recommendations for proposed legislation will be reported annually. Findings and recommendations of the Commission are intended to assist the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), the New Hampshire legislature, Governor, and Public Utilities Commission to better facilitate the responsible development of offshore wind in the State and Gulf of Maine.
The Commission’s work is in parallel to the work of the Gulf of Maine Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force established by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).
StatuteI. There is established a commission to investigate, in parallel with the work of the Gulf of Maine Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force established by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) study, the economic development opportunities for New Hampshire in supply chain needs, port capabilities, workforce development, energy procurement, transmission and storage, and fisheries and marine environment, to ensure the success of offshore wind in the Gulf of Maine. The commission may consider, at an appropriate time, in relation to the New Hampshire state energy strategy, outlined in RSA 4-E, if contracts with developers and utilities can deliver lower costs to ratepayers. The commission may coordinate with the advisory boards established in Executive Order 2019-06 as to assist the commission in reaching its recommendations. II. The members of the commission shall be as follows: (a) Two members of the senate who are members of different political parties, appointed by the president of the senate. (b) Four members of the house of representatives, at least one of whom shall be a member of the house environment and agriculture committee, one of whom shall be a member of the fish and game and marine resources committee, and one of whom shall be a member of the house science, technology __ampersand__ energy committee, appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives. (c) The director of the office of strategic initiatives, or designee. (d) The commissioner of the department of business and economic affairs, or designee. (e) The commissioner of the department of environmental services, or designee (f) A representative of the public utilities commission, appointed by the chairperson. (g) The executive director of the fish and game department, or designee. (h) The consumer advocate, or designee. (i) A member of the Pease development authority, appointed by the governor. (j) A representative of Clean Energy NH, appointed by that organization. (k) The president of the University of New Hampshire, or designee. (l) The chancellor of the community college system of New Hampshire, or designee. (m) Two members representing the New Hampshire commercial fishing community, appointed by the governor. (n) The president of the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire, or designee. (o) Two members representing offshore wind-related labor, one of whom shall be appointed by the IBEW and one of whom shall be appointed by the New Hampshire AFL-CIO. (p) A representative of a New Hampshire electric transmission utility, appointed by the governor. (q) A representative of the Rockingham regional planning commission, appointed by the organization (r) A representative of the Strafford regional planning commission, appointed by the organization. III. The commission shall consider and make specific recommendations on the following topics: (a) Existing and future opportunities to establish a supply chain supporting the development of offshore wind facilities. (b) An assessment of the capabilities of the Portsmouth Harbor to become a regional hub for offshore wind, both on and off shore, to attract developers in the offshore wind industry. (c) An evaluation of the potential workforce and workforce housing and transportation needs of the offshore wind industry and New Hampshire's ability to provide workforce educational opportunities, training, development, and recruitment, housing, and transportation to meet those needs, and the benefits of utilizing a New Hampshire workforce to the fullest extent possible. (d) Potential locations to interconnect offshore wind facilities to the onshore transmission grid, and the advisability of an independent transmission solicitation process. (e) Opportunities for contracts and/or solicitations with offshore wind developers to ensure the full development of the projects and at the lowest cost to ratepayers. (f) Opportunities for research partnerships with the University of New Hampshire and the community college system of New Hampshire on workforce development, technology, and environmental issues. (g) Opportunities in coordination with the congressional delegation and the Department of the Navy for use of facilities at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. (h) Appropriate accommodations and protections for fisheries and marine habitat. (i) Coordination with partner states on marine surveys and studies, meta-ocean data, and transmission studies. (j) Energy procurement requirements and schedules for public utilities. (k) The role of energy storage in transmission procurement or energy procurement. IV. The first meeting of the commission shall be called by the first-named senate member and shall be held within 30 days of the effective date of this section. The members of the commission shall elect a chairperson from among the members at the first meeting. Sixteen members of the commission shall constitute a quorum. V. The commission shall make an annual report, starting on November 1, 2020, to the speaker of the house of representatives, the president of the senate, the governor, and the chairperson of the public utilities commission. The report shall describe the activities and findings of the commission and any recommendations for proposed legislation, direction to the New Hampshire congressional delegation for items requiring federal oversight, direction to the public utilities commission to initiate a proceeding for all items requiring state regulatory review, and direction to state agencies and communities concerning economic and educational development related to offshore wind development. VI. The commission shall receive staff support and other services, including research and facilities assessments, from the department of business and economic affairs, office of offshore wind industry development established in RSA 12-O:51
The Commission’s 24 members include representatives from the New Hampshire Senate and House of Representatives; key state agencies; Strafford and Rockingham Regional Planning Commissions; the University of New Hampshire; the Community College System of New Hampshire; and other important stakeholders from the commercial fishing, labor, business, and environmental sectors.
Senator David Watters (Chair)
Sen. Kevin Avard
Rep. Jose Cambrils
NH House of Representatives
Clean Energy NH
NH Dept. of Business and Economic Affairs
NH Port Authority
NH Public Utilities Commission
New Hampshire Fish and Game Dept.
Rockingham Planning Commission
NH Dept. of Energy
Rep. Doug Thomas
NH House of Representatives
Yankee Fisherman’s Cooperative
Great Bay Community College
Strafford Regional Planning Commission
NH Dept. of Environmental Services
Dr. Diane Foster
University of New Hampshire
Rep. Cathryn Harvey
NH House of Representatives
NH Office of the Consumer Advocate
Former Commission members: Michael Behrmann, NH Dept. of Business and Economic Affairs; Brianna Fiorillo, Clean Energy NH
The Commission meets on a monthly basis. Commission meetings are open to all. Public comments received during Commission meetings will help guide the scope of the Commission’s research. Upcoming meetings are listed in the NH State Senate and House Digital Calendars on the General Court website. Check the calendar to find out more about upcoming meetings or browse meeting archive to learn more about past Commission meetings.
About this website
This website was created under the direction of Senator David Watters, Chair of the New Hampshire Commission to Study Offshore Wind and Port Development, to provide information about the Commission and about offshore wind development in the Gulf of Maine.
Arianna Stokes helped to create website content in partnership with the University of New Hampshire Sustainability Institute. Under the mentorship of Commission Chair Senator David Watters, former Commission Vice Chair Michael Behrmann, and NH Sea Grant Director Erik Chapman, Arianna completed a fellowship with the Commission through the UNH Sustainability Fellowship Program in summer 2021. Funding for the fellowship was provided by The Nature Conservancy in New Hampshire.