New London State Pier redevelopment offers long-term economic and climate benefits.
Offshore wind a good bet for CT
By Matthew Satnick and Philippe De Montigny
With the new Biden administration comes an aggressive climate plan that includes building several new offshore wind farms to help reach the country’s goal of a carbon-free electric sector by 2035. Currently, the United States has more than 28 gigawatts of offshore wind in development. According to the Department of Energy, offshore wind has the potential to generate more than 2,000 gigawatts of clean, renewable power per year, nearly double the nation's current electricity use.
Our company, Massachusetts-based Enstructure, owns and operates a network of dry, liquid and breakbulk terminals and logistics assets on the East Coast and Inland River System of the U.S., including two right here in Connecticut – Gateway Terminal in New Haven and New London at State Pier. We are constantly evaluating smaller, niche ports across the country as we expand our business. We have seen firsthand the challenges that many of these ports face as they struggle to compete for traditional cargo opportunities. Offshore wind has established itself as a proven industry globally, bringing new jobs, clean energy and revitalized infrastructure to ports across Europe and Asia. As the industry continues to advance domestically, it will create tens of thousands of skilled jobs and a robust national supply chain will emerge, revitalizing ports up and down our coasts.
In Connecticut, a redeveloped State Pier will be one of these thriving ports and deliver local, regional and national economic and climate benefits. The state was an early-mover by recognizing its once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be an epicenter for this new U.S. industry, with State Pier playing a critical role. Make no mistake, the competition is fierce. For example, New York recently announced a 2,500 megawatt offshore wind procurement that includes transforming the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal and the Port of Albany into large-scale offshore wind working industrial facilities. Built more than 100 years ago, State Pier is an underutilized state asset that has been in disrepair and in need of modernization for decades. Through a public-private partnership with Ørsted and Eversource, the companies will be covering a significant portion – $77.5 million – of the project costs for infrastructure improvements at State Pier that will transform it into a modern facility and, most importantly, give it heavy-lift capabilities.
It will serve as a premier staging and assembly port for Ørsted and Eversource’s Northeast offshore wind projects, which include Revolution Wind, a 704 megawatt project that will deliver 304 megawatts of clean energy to Connecticut and 400 megawatts to Rhode Island – enough to power nearly 350,000 homes across both states.
At the same time, State Pier will continue to support other existing long-term breakbulk operations for steel, lumber, salt and other cargoes. During Ørsted and Eversource’s 10-year lease period, we will market the facility for other cargo when it is not used for offshore wind. On the regional level, Connecticut will benefit for decades to come from this enhanced state asset that creates jobs and provides economic development opportunities. The State Pier redevelopment project is expected to deliver more than 400 construction jobs.
Ørsted and Eversource’s offshore wind project over the next decade will create thousands of new, skilled jobs, including construction positions and indirect and induced jobs. The redeveloped State Pier will also serve as an asset to New England, facilitating decades of future growth long after offshore wind. Its reconfiguration significantly increases State Pier’s addressable market through its heavy-lift capabilities and enhanced footprint. From a national perspective, State Pier and the wind projects it supports will spur the creation of a sustainable new industry and a significant opportunity to cut carbon emissions.
When it comes to State Pier, we must not lose sight of the endgame. Gateway is excited to be part of the team that is transforming State Pier into a dynamic engine driving a significant new industry for Connecticut. Gov. Ned Lamont and the state had the early vision to invest in the State Pier’s infrastructure. We are eager to see the project continue to advance to ensure that Connecticut can realize the economic and environmental benefits that will come from an upgraded port facility and the offshore wind industry.
Matthew Satnick and Philippe De Montigny are the co-CEOs of Enstructure, the parent company of Gateway Terminal.
See original article in the New Haven Business Journal