Orsted/Eversource, State Pier agreement Builds Economic Opportunity for the Region
Historically doing business in Connecticut has not been easy. And the challenges of the Connecticut Port Authority over this last year could have caused any investor to become squeamish and walk away. But Orsted/Eversource unwavering commitment to the State and the City, and Governor Lamont’s business savvy and direct engagement has resulted in our region capturing a truly transformational economic opportunity.
There are some projects that tick all the boxes for positive economic development and upgrading the aged State Pier into state-of-the-art port facility is one of them. The $157 million investment realizes drastically-needed improvements to the pier and positions Connecticut as a hub in the burgeoning U.S. offshore wind industry.
Governor Lamont, the Connecticut Port Authority, Orsted/Eversource and Gateway Terminal each deserve commendation for this public-private partnership, leveraging industry dollars for public infrastructure improvements that facilitate long-term economic growth for the region. Major planned upgrades re-make State Pier into a modern, heavy-lift capable port and maintain its freight rail link, increasing its cargo capacity for decades to come and allowing us to be a major player in the new American offshore wind industry.
The project is forward-thinking.
Sustainable, green energy benefits the environment and supports U.S. energy independence. It creates diversity in our energy supplies that make Connecticut a more resilient economy.
The project smartly leverages private investment:
In the state’s current climate of budgetary constraints, without nearly $80Million in Orsted/Eversource pier redevelopment funds, there is no way the state pier would be a target of public redevelopment. The pier would languish in New London for another decade or more, and New London would have missed the opportunity to benefit from the jobs and investment created by the burgeoning offshore wind industry.
In addition to direct pier redevelopment dollars, Orsted/Eversource has agreed to pay the City of New London over a million dollars per year in host community payments, with that number potentially doubling based on the success of the offshore wind business at the facility.
Redeveloping State Pier spurs economic growth immediately and in the future.
Construction of the pier brings 400 new jobs to the region over the next two years. Orsted and Eversource anticipate another 400 jobs at the pier for wind turbine generator pre-assembly and staging to power their Revolution Wind, Sunrise Wind, and South Fork Wind projects. Gateway has committed to maximizing use of the pier during the 10-year lease, when ebbs in construction create alternative opportunities to receive conventional cargo. Bringing these good-paying jobs to the region buoys the local economy and will have a ripple effect on the small business community.
Just look at our neighboring states.
Other northeastern states with healthier fiscal circumstances are investing public funds to secure economic opportunity. New York has committed $200 Million in public funds to OSW Port Infrastructure;New Jersey is considering millions in public investment; and Massachusetts has already constructed its $150 Million, 100% taxpayer-funded offshore wind facility.
Governor Lamont worked directly with all the players to ensuring that through this public private partnership Connecticut landed this once in a generation economic development opportunity.
State Pier improvements offer far-reaching opportunities for New London and beyond.
As the offshore wind industry develops, New London will be perfectly positioned with a redeveloped State Pier with rail and highway access which support related manufacturing and supply chain services.This will lead to businesses and families in the greater New London region with a new source of opportunity through which they can sustain, build and prosper.