State wind award fills Bridgeport's sails

It is hard not to get that feeling that New London has been left at the altar again.

We understand that the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, in assessing bids for offshore wind power generation is supposed to look only at energy costs and economic development prospects, not geographical distribution of the prized awards.

Still, it’s disappointing.

Because that evaluation led to the decision to give Vineyard Wind the right to negotiate with electric distribution companies to sell them 804 megawatts of electricity coming from the offshore wind turbines it will now build. That’s great news for Bridgeport. Its port will be transformed as the Park City Wind Project for staging of the windfarm development.

The project includes an estimated $890 million in direct economic investment, focused on western Connecticut.

We had been urging DEEP to also give a substantial award to Revolution Wind, a joint venture of Eversource and Orsted, which plans to use State Pier in New London for its offshore wind development hub. It didn’t happen.

Revolution Wind was awarded a 304 MW offshore wind bid in 2018. Noting its disappointment Thursday, Revolution Wind stated its intention to still invest in State Pier to develop the infrastructure necessary to support construction tied to that 2018 award and its projects serving other states. Negotiations for a $93 million public-private partnership to redevelop the pier continue with the Connecticut Port Authority.

But a big award Thursday would have boosted the economic benefits flowing to the New London area. And, frankly, despite the assurances, we’re now nervous about the planned development actually happening. It remains a priority for our local elected and state legislative officials to make sure it does.

 

 

The Day editorial board meets regularly with political, business and community leaders and convenes weekly to formulate editorial viewpoints. It is composed of President and Publisher Tim Dwyer, Editorial Page Editor Paul Choiniere, Managing Editor Tim Cotter, Staff Writer Julia Bergman and retired deputy managing editor Lisa McGinley. However, only the publisher and editorial page editor are responsible for developing the editorial opinions. The board operates independently from the Day newsroom.

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