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State Pier and Offshore Wind: Moving Connecticut’s Economy Forward

I write on behalf of the Chamber’s Board of Directors to congratulate the Connecticut Port Authority upon receiving the final State Pier permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This is an important moment, not only for the Port Authority, but for all involved in the effort to bring the offshore wind industry to the state. Our local economy is now one significant step closer to realizing the benefits of a modern, heavy-lift capable State Pier, a reinvigorated New London port, and a growing, regional offshore wind industry that will create jobs and help us achieve a carbon-free future for everyone.

All in, construction activity to modernize and enhance the pier will deliver more than 400 well-paying construction jobs in Connecticut. As State Pier bustles with activity, workers buying local products and using local services will bolster the greater New London economy until the redevelopment project’s completion.

After construction wraps up, Ørsted and Eversource will use the pier as a staging and assembly facility for Connecticut’s first offshore wind farm, Revolution Wind, along with their two other major projects in development in the Northeast. These activities will create dozens of ongoing, well-paying pre-assembly positions while the wind farms are being constructed.

Another advantage of the State Pier project and the offshore wind industry’s arrival in New London is the value proposition it provides Connecticut as the state explores new opportunities to build out the industry’s supply chain. With State Pier as the go-to hub in the Northeast for wind turbine staging and assembly, New London a regional epicenter for the industry, and New London County’s Foreign-Trade Zone designation, the state and its economic development partners can leverage the region’s manufacturing and blue technology base to spur business development and attract new companies.

To that end, the Chamber recently released its comprehensive study, “Embracing the Potential of Offshore Wind in Connecticut,” which provides an in-depth look at this new industry and reviews the opportunities and challenges that the state, the region, and indeed the public should be aware of.

The study can be found on the Chamber website at: https://chamberect.com/offshore-wind/

Luckily, Connecticut recognized some of these opportunities and challenges early on. Through its procurement of energy from two offshore wind projects, including Revolution Wind, and investment in port redevelopment to support the industry, such as State Pier, the state has a solid foundation to continue building on and creating further economic growth opportunities.

The Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT and its Board of Directors look forward to continuing our work with our partners in the fight against climate change and toward the goal of ensuring that statewide growth flows through southeastern Connecticut and New London.

The writer is president & CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut.

 

 

 

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