NEW LONDON, CT – Last night, offshore wind manufacturers, state and city officials, clean energy advocates, and labor groups met in New London at a reception to discuss the economic opportunity offshore wind could bring to Connecticut. The event was hosted by RENEW Northeast, the CT Roundtable on Climate and and Acadia Center, and it was coordinated with the Danish Consulate as part of their offshore wind Road Show. It built on recent local advocacy and an announcement from the state that it will invest further in port facilities, showing the growing momentum and potential for offshore wind in the state.
In advance of the event, a group of 30 diverse organizations sent a letter to Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection urging them to move forward with selecting an offshore wind bid out of the three that have been submitted to the state through an open request for proposals for clean energy. Connecticut’s selection of an offshore wind bid would follow the lead of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, which announced at the end of May that they had selected to collectively move forward with 1200 MW of offshore wind development.
The event also followed an announcement from the State Bond Commission on Friday to approve $15 million for revitalizing the State Pier in New London, which would be a significant boon to marine industries—including offshore wind—seeking to use the facility.
The event featured several speakers including Michael Passero, Mayor of New London; David Kooris, Deputy Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development; Scott Bates, Chairman of the Connecticut Port Authority; Abby Watson, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy; Lars Kristensen of Bladt Industries; State Senator Paul Formica; and State Representative Chris Soto.
The organizers, speakers, and attendees at the event released the following statements:
Emily Lewis, Policy Analyst at Acadia Center:
“The diversity of groups supporting offshore wind speaks to the multitude of benefits it will bring Connecticut. It will grow the state’s clean energy supply and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It will create jobs and develop the economy. With so much enthusiasm, the state needs to select an offshore wind proposal now to ensure it maximizes the benefits.”
Francis Pullaro, Executive Director for RENEW Northeast:
“Over the next decade, the New England and Mid-Atlantic states are expected to deploy gigawatts of new offshore wind power projects. Building offshore wind at this scale creates real economic opportunities for Connecticut. New London is the perfect location to support the expansion of offshore wind.”
John Humphries, Organizer for the CT Roundtable on Climate and Jobs:
“This visit to New London by international manufacturing companies highlights the significant economic potential that offshore wind brings to southeastern Connecticut. New London’s port is well-positioned to become a regional hub of activity to support projects up and down the coast. Offshore wind represents a tremendous opportunity for Connecticut’s workers and communities, providing jobs, economic growth and clean energy.”
Michael Passero, Mayor of New London:
The City of New London is thrilled to be able to show off its magnificent deep water harbor and we look forward to working with all the key stakeholders in the offshore wind industry as they learn of the advantages that New London Harbor offers in the development this exciting new power source.
Tony Walter, President of the CT State Council of Machinists:
“These manufacturers have definitely come to the right place to find skilled labor ready to work. From aerospace to submarines, Connecticut’s Machinists provide precision manufacturing outcomes every day. If the offshore wind industry needs high-quality parts and equipment, we’re ready to build it here in Connecticut!”
Scott Bates, Chairman of the Connecticut Port Authority:
“Connecticut is investing $15 million to begin upgrading the infrastructure at State Pier in New London, because we believe in the power of our state’s maritime industry to attract new commerce, grow the regional economy and create stable, long-term jobs right here at home.”
Francis Pullaro, Executive Director, RENEW Northeast
John Humphries, Organizer, CT Roundtable on Climate and Jobs
Emily Lewis, Policy Analyst
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