Connecticut, Neighboring States Partner on Offshore Wind
Connecticut is working with other New England states to address challenges in the offshore wind industry amid inflationary pressures and supply disruptions..
Governors from Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island announced a joint agreement this week to procure future wind energy projects together, rather than separately.
Simultaneously, the state Department of Economic and Community released its Offshore Wind Strategic Roadmap, which includes the creation of the Connecticut Wind Collaborative.
The agreement between the three states is the first of its kind.
The states are asking energy developers for proposals for up to 6,000 megawatts of power by January to be considered.
Under the agreement, any two or three states will be able to choose a proposal and split up the anticipated energy from a single project.
“We can go further when we work together,” Gov. Ned Lamont said in a statement.
“I’m excited to be collaborating with our neighbors in Massachusetts and Rhode Island on this MOU, which opens up the potential for us to procure clean energy from offshore wind together at more competitive and affordable rates.”
The governors said they believe working together will amplify the benefits of offshore wind for regional economic growth and development.
“The agreement between the states is a positive step forward to help the region reach its energy goals,” CBIA public policy associate Peter Myers said.
The announcement is part of Lamont’s goal to have a 100% zero-carbon electricity supply by 2040.
Connecticut officials believe the state’s deepwater ports, public and private collaborations, strong supply chain, and highly trained workforce put the state in a strong position to lead in the offshore wind industry.
DECD created its Offshore Wind Strategic Roadmap in collaboration with the governor’s office, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, and several partner agencies, nonprofits, and industry groups.
The roadmap highlights four strategic pillars to leveraging Connecticut’s potential in the space: infrastructure and real estate, supply chain, workforce, and research and development.
It outlines priority actions in each area heavily focused on creating new partnerships and collaborations.
Priorities also include increasing investments in key port and waterfront properties and increasing regional capabilities across the supply chain.
To do this, stakeholders will have to fully understand the requirements that will be necessary for the offshore wind supply chain.
Then state leaders hope to leverage Connecticut manufacturers’ capabilities and incentivize them to support the industry.
“As the offshore wind industry grows in Connecticut, it will present new opportunities for companies across the state,” CBIA senior public policy associate Ashley Zane said.
“Today’s workforce must be equipped for tomorrow’s future. By investing in workforce development programs now, we can create strong pipelines to support the industry.”
To execute the initiative, the Lamont administration created the nonprofit Connecticut Wind Collaborative, representing public and private sector stakeholders.
While full details have yet to be released, officials said the collaborative will convene leaders from across the offshore wind industry to foster collaboration across the state and region.
The group is tasked with developing additional offshore wind strategies, educating key audiences about offshore wind, and supporting organizations with funding to grow the sector.
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