Offshore wind project would create thousands of jobs, lead to more than $1.5 billion in investment and economic development opportunities, and save Connecticut ratepayers over $1 billion.

Park City Wind Will Transform Bridgeport Into Offshore Wind Hub
Park City Wind Will Transform Bridgeport Into Offshore Wind Hub

News From | Vineyard Wind

Today Vineyard Wind announced details of the company’s proposed “Park City Wind” offshore wind project. Vineyard Wind submitted its Park City Wind proposal on September 30th, 2019 to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) in response to their 2019 solicitation for offshore wind facilities.

“Park City Wind is a tremendous opportunity to revitalize Bridgeport by creating thousands of good paying jobs with good benefits in both the wind industry and throughout the local supply chain,” said Vineyard Wind CEO Lars Thaaning Pedersen.  “By selecting our project, the state will help make offshore wind a statewide industry, similar to aerospace, and tap into the innovative roots that have defined Connecticut for generations.” 

Park City Wind has the potential to establish Bridgeport – often referred to as The Park City – into an American hub for the emerging US offshore wind industry.  The potential for real, long-term economic growth is enormous.  Over the last two years, states from Virginia to Massachusetts have announced plans to procure 22,000 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind power, which represents $85 billion in economic and investment opportunity. Bridgeport can play an integral role in both Connecticut and different project opportunities up and down the East Coast.  

“Our commitment to Connecticut is significant,” continued Pedersen.  “We see a future with thriving ports in both New London and Bridgeport and manufacturers in every corner of the state working to literally lift this industry off the ground in the US.  If Park City Wind is selected, the jobs and economic opportunities created by this project will be available in the region for decades to come.”

The Park City Wind proposal includes options to develop an up to 1,200 MW project, which will generation enough electricity to power 600,000 Connecticut homes. Furthermore, Park City Wind could generate upwards of $1.6 billion in direct economic benefits and create as many as 12,000 direct, indirect, and induced full‐time equivalent (FTE) job years across Connecticut. The project will also save Connecticut ratepayers up to $1.1 billion in energy costs, while delivering a reliable source of fixed price, low cost renewable energy. 

In order to generate such high levels of economic activity, Vineyard Wind has proposed hundreds of millions of dollars in investments in Connecticut for years to come to realize a range of improvements and programs, including:

  • Transforming Barnum Landing: Vineyard Wind will partner with McAllister Towing and Transportation Co. to redevelop an 18.3-acre waterfront industrial property in Bridgeport that is currently underutilized and undeveloped. A renovated Barnum Landing property will host hundreds of local workers hired to do critical foundation transition piece steel fabrication and final outfitting. This labor-intensive work will create new, good-paying union jobs and build valuable Connecticut-based offshore wind capabilities along with a trained workforce prepared for future offshore wind projects.
  • Constructing an O&M Facility with a 25+ Year Lifetime: Vineyard Wind is also committed to making Bridgeport home to Park City Wind’s operations and maintenance (O&M) hub for the life of the project. This will bring many long-term jobs to Bridgeport and generate direct expenditures worth several hundreds of millions of dollars.

 

"McAllister Towing and The Bridgeport and Port Jefferson Steamboat Company have been a part of Bridgeport's maritime community for many, many years," said Buckley McAllister, President of the companies.  "We believe that the addition of a thriving offshore wind industry, with its beating heart at the center of Bridgeport Harbor, will lead to jobs and economic benefits for generations to come.  We wholeheartedly support the Park City Wind project and look forward to many years of partnership with Vineyard Wind." 

Vineyard Wind has also proposed significant funding for delivering benefits beyond the project, in partnership with the State of Connecticut, to attract permanent major offshore wind industry activities, such as manufacturing, port redevelopment, or steel component manufacturing, fabrication, and construction capabilities to the area. 

Vineyard Wind will be devoted to facilitating the creation, development, growth, and sustainability of a long‐term offshore wind industry workforce in Connecticut to serve both Park City Wind and future offshore wind projects up and down the East Coast. To that end, the company’s proposal includes up to $26.5 million worth of major workforce development initiatives, pilot programs, and research opportunities in partnership with many longstanding Connecticut institutions.

The Park City Wind proposal includes plans for Vineyard Wind to partner with workforce development organizations like Building Pathways CT and Career Resources Inc., Connecticut educational institutions, and other groups like Survival Systems, USA to ensure the project has the talent it needs to succeed while at the same time creating new opportunities for residents, with a particular focus on veterans, minorities, women and other groups. Such opportunities will include setting up local Global Wind Organization-certified technical and safety trainings at facilities in Connecticut.

“Building Pathways CT a union-led, union-directed apprenticeship readiness program provides construction credentialing and training for individuals looking to gain a career in construction,” said Amy Blackwood, Executive Director of Building Pathways CT. “Vineyard Wind and their Park City Wind proposal will provide local residents with an opportunity to gain Building Pathways CT training and a unionized apprenticeship in the trade of their choice and a living wage, healthcare and retirement options.  Vineyard Wind supports the training and hiring of local residents looking to become the next generation of master craftspeople.”

“We are excited to partner with Vineyard Wind to ensure that critical training programs are provided to the Connecticut workforce as the Offshore Wind industry grows and matures in the New England area,” said Maria C. Hanna, CEO of Survival Systems USA, Inc.

“We are excited to partner with Vineyard Wind in an effort to bring well-paying green jobs to our region,” said Scott K. Wilderman, President & CEO of Career Resources, Inc. “This exciting new technology will not only reduce our dependence on fossil fuels but will significantly improve employment and economic security in our community.”

Vineyard Wind will also work with Connecticut’s Center for Advanced Technology’s (CCAT) supply chain network program to integrate local businesses into the project and offshore wind supply chain.  This initiative will result in a local supply chain database and the provision of grants to help local businesses enter the offshore wind industry. 

“A tremendous opportunity exists for Connecticut and the region through the development of the offshore wind industry to secure clean and reliable energy for the future, along with the high-paying careers and new revenues, of which all play a vital role in the State’s economy,” said Ron Angelo, President and Chief Executive Officer, CCAT. “The Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT) is excited to partner with Vineyard Wind to support and integrate offshore wind within CCAT’s programs, initiatives, technical capabilities, and experience in order to develop Connecticut’s clean energy supply chain into a technologically advanced delivery system with a world class workforce. CCAT has been a leader in developing Connecticut’s advanced manufacturing supply chain for the last fifteen years, and I’m confident that with this opportunity for us to work directly with industry, educational institutions, trade associations and government leadership to apply best practices that enhance educational opportunities, technical training and supply chain capabilities, will deliver a positive impact on the State’s economy now and for the next generation.” 

Research funded by Vineyard Wind, in partnership with the Mystic Aquarium and the University of Connecticut’s (UConn) Department of Marine Sciences will further the understanding of underwater noise generated by offshore wind projects and its effects on protected marine species and support efforts to assess potential impacts on commercial fisheries. Vineyard Wind has also partnered with the Connecticut Green Bank to implement an innovative program that has the potential to lead to substantial energy savings for low-income households and improvements in Connecticut’s existing affordable housing stock. 

“Mystic Aquarium is pleased to be collaborating with Vineyard Wind on research related to ocean wind energy,” said Stephen M. Coan, President and CEO of Mystic Aquarium. “The investment that Vineyard Wind is making in better understanding how to maximize the environmental benefits of this technology in design, installation and operation is extraordinarily important.  Vineyard Wind understands that the question is not whether ocean wind technology is beneficial; it is how to make it more beneficial for the whole ecosystem.”

"The Department of Marine Sciences at UConn leads Connecticut's collaborative initiative focused on environmental research of off-shore wind development,” said J. Evan Ward, Professor and Head of the Department of Marine Sciences at the University of Connecticut. “We are excited to partner with Vineyard Wind on their efforts to examine potential impacts of wind development on off-shore ecosystems."

“The Roundtable was an early voice advocating alongside building trades unions and other allies for Connecticut to make a commitment to the growing offshore wind industry,” said John Humphries, Executive Director and Lead Organizer for the Connecticut Roundtable on Climate and Jobs. “We are pleased to see Vineyard Wind put forth a proposal committed to developing a robust offshore wind industry in Bridgeport that will rely on a skilled labor pool working at all levels of the local supply-chain for this rapidly expanding industry.”

In addition to the immediate monetary commitments, Vineyard Wind has signed a Letter of Intent to negotiate a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) with the Connecticut Building Trades Council to ensure that Connecticut’s existing skilled workforce has access to the trainings and experience needed to help build the project and participate in the offshore wind industry. Vineyard Wind will also partner with pre-apprenticeship and workforce development programs to help provide access to employment opportunities in the trades to various Connecticut populations, including minorities, women, low-income residents, veterans and families with a history in the commercial fishing industry. 

“The Fairfield County Building Trades Council is committed to creating opportunities and pathways for the next generation of Connecticut’s workforce,” said Duane Gates, President of Fairfield County Building Trades Council. “We are pleased Vineyard Wind intends to negotiate a project labor agreement for Park City Wind’s construction work based at the port of Bridgeport and we are excited about their commitment to expanding renewable energy resources, economic development, career training, and job opportunities in southeast New England.” 

Park City Wind will also reduce regional greenhouse gas emissions by up to over 1.6 million tons annually, including displacing up to 800,000 tons of CO2 and nearly 70 tons of NOx directly from Connecticut power plants, improving air quality, and reducing Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative compliance costs for Connecticut ratepayers.

“Climate change is an existential threat, both in Connecticut and in every other corner of the world,” said Chris Phelps, State Director for Environment Connecticut.  “This offshore wind project gives the state the chance to power more than 600,000 homes with pollution-free energy, reducing our impact on the climate and making our air and water cleaner.”

 

 

The content & opinions in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of AltEnergyMag

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