Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont has announced a new development plan that aims to establish New London, Conn., as a central hub in New England for offshore wind.
The Connecticut Port Authority and terminal operator Gateway are partnering with Bay State Wind – a joint venture between Ørsted and Eversource – on a new deal that will redevelop State Pier in New London. A public-private investment of $93 million will upgrade the pier’s infrastructure and heavy-lift capabilities.
“Connecticut’s maritime economy has significant potential to drive economic growth and create jobs across the state, and redeveloping State Pier is a central component to that growth,” says Lamont. “This new public-private partnership reaffirms the unwavering commitment of the state to increase procurement of offshore wind and make the economic expansion of our maritime economy a reality. We look forward to working with our new partners to position Connecticut as a leader in the offshore wind industry and expand economic opportunity throughout the region.”
The State Pier harbor development plan calls for a two-phase effort. First, a three-year development project will upgrade the facility infrastructure to meet the heavy-lift requirements of Ørsted and Eversource’s offshore wind components. Second, Ørsted and Eversource will enter into a 10-year lease agreement granting their joint venture the use of State Pier for wind turbine generator assembly and staging (with an option to extend the agreement for seven years).
This deal aligns with the Lamont administration’s plans to expand the use of carbon-free energy sources.
“Today’s announcement lays the foundation for Connecticut to play a leading role in the United States’ fast-growing offshore wind industry and supports our transition from older, dirtier fuel sources to clean, affordable, carbon-free energy,” comments Lee Olivier, Eversource’s executive vice president for enterprise energy strategy and business development.
“With this public-private partnership comes the significant opportunity for job creation, local investment, and economic benefits for southeastern Connecticut and the wider region,” adds Thomas Brostrøm, Ørsted’s president of North America and Ørsted US Offshore Wind’s CEO.
The Connecticut Port Authority is responsible for oversight and execution of the project. Construction is tentatively scheduled to begin in January 2020, following bid solicitation and federal/state permitting. It is expected to be finished in March 2022.