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$93m agreement for Connecticut Port overhaul

The U.S. State of Connecticuts Governor, Edward Miner Lamont, Jr., has announced what he is calling a Major Development Plan, which aims to establish New London as a central hub for the offshore wind industry. The Governor revealed that the State of Connecticut and its partners have reached an agreement on a harbour development plan for State Pier in New London, that will enable its revitalisation and put in place needed components to support the offshore wind industry.

The Connecticut Port Authority, the state’s quasi-public agency responsible for marketing and coordinating the development of the state’s ports and maritime industry, 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 into a port facility for offshore wind components. This agreement is contingent upon receipt of all federal and state permits to support the facility development project.

They aim to achieve the redevelopment through a combined public-private investment of $93 million to upgrade its infrastructure and heavy-lift capability. Ørsted/Eversource will commit $35 million in new capital expenditures for State Pier infrastructure improvements, including $2.5 million to the CPA to offset operational costs during the three-year development project. $22.5 million was previously committed for State Pier infrastructure improvements, and Ørsted/Eversource will honour that commitment.

The State of Connecticut will commit to $35.5 million for State Pier infrastructure improvements, including $25.5 million from the Connecticut Port Authority, as previously announced, and $10 million in new funding from the Department of Economic and Community Development through the Manufacturing Assistance Act.

The State Pier harbor development plan calls for a two-phased effort at State Pier. 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, following the completion of the project, Ørsted and Eversource will enter into a ten-year lease agreement, granting their joint venture the use of State Pier for wind turbine generator assembly and staging, with an option to extend for seven years.

“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,”
Governor Lamont said. “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.”

With this plan, the Connecticut Port Authority is responsible for oversight and execution of the development project. Construction is tentatively scheduled to begin in January 2020, following bid solicitation and permitting. It is expected to be finished in March 2022. The Connecticut Port Authority will receive annual fixed fee payments of $3 million, and will be eligible for a one-time completion bonus for on-time completion of the development project. Gateway will serve as the terminal operator.

The east coast of the US is a hotbed of activity for offshore wind, with many states vying to establish the first commercial scale projects and infrastructure to support the expansion of the technology. Currently, there is only one offshore wind farm operating in US waters, the 30MW
Block Island project. Located off the coast of Rhode Island, the five turbine array has been in operation since 2016, and produces approximately 125,000 MWh of electricity annually; enough to meet the electricity demands of up to 17,000 households.

For more information on offshore wind developments in the US,
click here. You can also view projects worldwide on 4C Offshores interactive map.

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