Southeastern Connecticut unfurls its sails
Earlier this month Governor Lamont announced a public-private partnership between the state of Connecticut, the Connecticut Port Authority, Gateway New London and Bay State Wind, the joint venture between Ørsted US and Eversource. This historic agreement sets the stage that will result in a $93 million-dollar investment in State Pier. This upgrade promises to revitalize this historically underutilized asset by turning the pier into a modernized facility that specializes in the development of the Northeast’s offshore wind industry.
The Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut recognizes the regional economic impact that will result from this major investment in State Pier. The jobs created by this new, high-tech offshore wind industry will support New London’s growing “Live, Work, Invest” philosophy, and will result in a significant economic ripple effect on the entire region.
In today’s climate it is enormously difficult to hammer out a multifaceted agreement such as that which was required to move this effort forward. In addition to the principals involved, our local leaders played a critical role in representing New London’s interests. State Sen. Paul Formica, who fought for our region to ensure this deal, not only had bipartisan support, but also worked to bring all the various stakeholders to the table in order to make this deal happen. His leadership has continued, as he called Thursday for a bill that would allow purchase of an additional 2,000 megawatts of offshore wind power to be moved through the legislature's Energy and Technology Committee.. That would further support this investment in State Pier.
Additionally, New London Mayor Michael Passero and Scott Bates, chairman of the Connecticut Port Authority, deserve recognition for this major achievement.
Together they worked in a bipartisan manner in the best interests of New London and the region. Their work positions the region to be centerstage in the development of the Northeast offshore wind industry, all of which places our region on the brink of a major economic development undertaking, with new businesses and supply chains being created to support this new industry.
On behalf of the Chamber a special thanks to all involved, especially for the tireless efforts of our local officials and other key players.
Tony Sheridan is president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut and chairman of the Connecticut Airport Authority Board of Directors.