Regional Coalition Targets Federal Funds for Offshore Wind Projects
A six-project Southeastern Connecticut offshore wind industry proposal is among 60 finalists in the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s $1 billon Build Back Better Regional Challenge.
The six projects, located in communities from Bridgeport to New London, were designed to support Connecticut’s burgeoning offshore wind industry.
The EDA-administered challenge is a part of the federal American Rescue Plan Act, and is meant to expedite economic recovery from the pandemic and rebuild communities across the country.
The Southeastern Connecticut Enterprise Region Offshore Wind Industry Cluster proposal was awarded $500,000 in development funds and will compete in the second phase of challenge, which will see 20 to 30 groups awarded between $25 million and $100 million.
Led by the Southeastern Connecticut Enterprise Region—known as seCTer—the proposal includes diversifying and expanding the supply chain, providing waterfront industrial sites for development, building a green business park, leveraging a sustainable workforce development model, supporting blue tech research development, and developing new products.
The projects target opportunities created by the 704 megawatt Revolution Wind offshore wind farm under development off Rhode Island and the 804 megawatt Park City Wind project.
Revolution Wind, a partnership between Eversource and Danish power company Ørsted, is using New London as a staging point, including a $235 million expansion of the State Pier.
Park City Wind, a partnership between Avangrid Renewables and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, is using Bridgeport as the hub for its wind farm under development off the coast of Massachusetts.
The seCTer coalition includes the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, Department of Economic and Community Development, Eastern Connecticut Workforce Investment Board, Norwich Community Development Corporation, Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments, and the University of Connecticut.
CBIA’s John Blair said the seCTer initiatives had the potential to transform the Bridgeport and New London regions, which have high unemployment rates compared to other Connecticut localities.
“Offshore wind projects will help drive economic growth along Connecticut’s shorelines, as well as produce much needed zero carbon alternatives to Connecticut’s energy marketplace,” he said.
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