First wind industry turbine towers arrive at New London’s State Pier
New London ― The cargo ship Trina arrived at Adm. Harold E. Shear State Pier from Denmark Wednesday morning, ready to offload 16 huge tower pieces that will be used to assemble Ørsted’s first four wind turbines.
The German ship is the third to arrive in the city related to the new wind industry that’s just ramping up here. Its arrival marks the first time that the 200-ton tower sections, each measuring 65 to 100 feet long, had been transported to the terminal.
The towers will be a major component of the turbine assembly to be overseen by Danish wind power company Ørsted that is expected to be in full swing within the next few months. The business is technically still a partnership between Ørsted and Eversouce Energy, though Eversource is in the process of selling its interest.
Huge cranes hoisted the towers off the cargo ship, and two to three dozen workers with the Local 1411 Longshoremen’s Association were on site to accomplish the task, which was expected to take two days.
“This is a historic moment not only for southeastern Connecticut and Connecticut but for the country,” said Ulysses Hammond, interim executive director for the Connecticut Port Authority, as he watched workers prepare to offload the cargo.
The first of of 16 tower sections to be unloaded from the German cargo ship Trina is moved Wednesday to another area of Adm. Harold E. Shear State Pier in New London from Denmark. The sections tower pieces will be assembled for the first 4 Ørsted wind turbines. pic.twitter.com/cnUS7t3hz9— Dana Jensen (@DMJ_photog) June 28, 2023
Prior to the offloading, workers had to wait for inspections of the ship by the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Customs and Border Inspection personnel. Hammond said inspectors were checking to make sure there were no unauthorized people aboard and that the cargo matched the ship manifests.
Another ship with more turbine parts is expected in about three weeks, Hammond added.
“All of the assembly is going to take place right here,” Hammond said as he surveyed the 40-acre site. “Watching one of these get assembled is an amazing thing.”
State Rep. Anthony Nolan, D-New London, who stopped by to see the offloading, marveled at the huge cranes dotting the State Pier site.
“It’s such a visual to have these size cranes here,” he said to Hammond. “These are some of the biggest cranes you’re ever going to see.”
Nolan admitted to some hesitancy about the $255 million project that has seen huge cost overruns, but said he is hopeful other uses for the terminal (such as a plan to send heavy-lift cargo from here to all over the world) will help offset the higher costs.
“I was trying to keep the faith, but every so often that faith was messed up by (asking for) more money,” Nolan said.
“People are talking about the project (costs), but not about the promise,” Hammond replied. “That’s what brought me here.”
Last month, the first wind components were offloaded from the Claude A. Desgagnes cargo ship; not long after, the Billie brought in similar components required to set up the State Pier site for wind turbine assembly.
While the Connecticut Port Authority had previously expected to greet the arrival of the first large wind turbine parts with a major event and speeches by dignitaries, Hammond said current plans are to celebrate in August or September.
That’s when the first completed towers are expected to be ready for installation at the South Fork Wind project 35 miles east of Montauk Point, serving East Hampton, N.Y.
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