Top Stories 2018: New London becomes player in offshore wind

Workers on the jack-up construction vessels Brave Tern and L/B Caitlin prepare to install the final blade on the fourth of the five power-generating wind turbines as part of the Deepwater Wind project 3 miles south of Block Island on Aug. 15, 2016. A proposal by Deepwater, which was acquired by Orsted in 2018, was selected in the state's first-ever zero-carbon energy auction in December 2018. The proposal includes a boost for New London, which could become a hub for offshore wind turbine shipping and assembly.  (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)
Workers on the jack-up construction vessels Brave Tern and L/B Caitlin prepare to install the final blade on the fourth of the five power-generating wind turbines as part of the Deepwater Wind project 3 miles south of Block Island on Aug. 15, 2016. A proposal by Deepwater, which was acquired by Orsted in 2018, was selected in the state's first-ever zero-carbon energy auction in December 2018. The proposal includes a boost for New London, which could become a hub for offshore wind turbine shipping and assembly. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)

The developer of the first U.S. offshore wind farm and the world's largest offshore wind company share a vision of New London as a world-class installation harbor for upcoming projects along the East Coast.

With Block Island Wind Farm developer Deepwater Wind recently acquired by Denmark-based Orsted, executives say the stage is set for long-term economic development in the New London region as the companies pool resources, talent and several offshore areas leased through the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. The upcoming projects come as several states are procuring offshore wind power and as Connecticut looks to cut greenhouse gas emissions and increase renewable energy production. But how many local jobs will be created and whether manufacturers come to the area remain to be seen. Project costs and prices for ratepayers are not yet publicly available.

Regulators on Friday announced winning proposals from energy producers in the state's first zero-carbon energy auction, including an expansion of large wind farm planned by Orsted U.S. Offshore Wind. Local officials also anxiously await Connecticut Port Authority's selection of an operator for State Pier, with New Haven-based Gateway Terminal teaming up with Orsted on a multiyear proposal.

b.kail@theday.com

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