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Courtney announces federal funds to Groton company to support national offshore wind goals

ThayerMahan, a Groton-based marine robotics and maritime surveillance company, has been selected to receive funding as part of a national initiative to bolster the growth of the offshore wind projects.

The company was selected by the U.S. Department of Energy National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium as one of 15 projects to share a part of the $8 million in federal funding.

Congressman Joe Courtney announced on Tuesday that ThayerMahan will receive the funding to support its ongoing work in submarine cable innovation to reduce failures, electrical losses and cost — ”a project particularly well-suited to help the growing wind industry reduce impacts on the ocean environment and ensure infrastructure stability,” Courtney said.

The award comes on the heels of an announcement Monday by Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm about plans to expand offshore wind farms along the East Coast with a national goal of generating 30 gigawatts of offshore windpower by 2030 — enough to power more than 10 million American homes and cut 78 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

The goal is projected by the government to spur $12 billion in capital investment annually, leading to the construction of up to 10 new manufacturing plants for offshore wind turbine components, new ships to install offshore wind turbines, and up to $500 million in port upgrades.

“As the Biden Administration sets course on a new era of carbon-free energy production, eastern Connecticut is extremely well-positioned to take advantage of the growing, permanent opportunities in the offshore wind energy sector,” Courtney said in a statement. “Our highly skilled, maritime-focused workforce has a deep bench and growing, and we have a new Administration ready to make serious, long-term commitments to kick our nation’s clean energy economy into high-gear, particularly with offshore wind.”

Locally, New London’s State Pier is poised to become a staging area for offshore wind farms being built by the joint venture partners of Danish wind company Ørsted and utility company Eversource. Ørsted and Eversource are investing $77.5 million into State Pier. Ørsted operates the country’s only operating wind farm, the five-turbine Block Island Wind Farm generating 30 megawatts off the coast of Rhide Island.

Mike Connor, ThayerMahan’s CEO, said in a statement the company was honored to have been selected.

“We will be working alongside giants in the industry including Ørsted, Global Marine Group and SUNY Maritime College.  We continue to hire talented engineers and technicians here in Connecticut who want to be a part of the country’s energy future,” Connor said. “The State of Connecticut helped get our business to the point where we were ready to deliver through programs like CT Innovations.

“Governor Lamont and his team deserve a lot of the credit.  We also deeply appreciate the work that Congressman Courtney has done over many years to ensure that Southeastern Connecticut’s highly developed maritime industry plays an important role in America’s energy future.”

In January, 2020, ThayerMahan announced it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Ørsted and Eversource to monitor wildlife and seabeds in connection with the Revolution Wind offshore wind project. Revolution Wind, once built, is expected to supply 304 megawatts to Connecticut and 400 megawatts to Rhode Island.

The full list of projects can be found on the Wind Energy Technologies Office website.

g.smith@theday.com

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