The Day – Chamber of Commerce publishes study on offshore wind opportunities

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A new report examining the potential benefits for Connecticut from the offshore wind industry urges developing the assets necessary to support the growing industry.

The report, “Embracing the Potential of Offshore Wind in Connecticut: a Study of Opportunities and Challenges,” was commissioned by offshore wind partners Ørsted and Eversource, with the team funding part of the $ 235 million reconstruction of State Pier in New London.

The study was overseen by the Eastern Connecticut Chamber of Commerce, which hired McAllister Marine Engineering LLC of Rhode Island to complete the study.

The 156-page report concludes that in addition to three attractive deep-water ports for the offshore industry, the state already has a well-developed supply chain built around electric boat operations, “which has resulted in a strong and developed set of suppliers and manufacturers able to pivot to support the (offshore wind) market.

The state’s current aerospace industry is also able to accommodate some of the manufacturing requirements for wind turbine generators and their various components.

The number of future jobs that will be created remains a question. The study projects, on the basis of the State’s current commitments in favor of wind power, 127 direct jobs throughout the State, 410 indirect jobs and 174 “induced jobs”, or those created by a boost to the local economy.

State Sens. Cathy Osten, D-Sprague, and Paul Formica, R-East Lyme, were among the participants in a video conference hosted by the chamber on Wednesday.

Osten said his target was the number of full-time jobs that would be available to residents. “We have lost a number of full-time equivalent jobs at New London (State) Pier to longshoremen. I would like to make sure that we hire local people for these full time jobs, ”she said.

To capture local talent, the study recommends the development of workforce training programs.

Formica encouraged the use of the freight line from State Pier and the opportunities presented by rail to reach assembly and manufacturing plants inland. He said he also hoped the report would address opportunities to work collaboratively with the commercial fishing industry and plans to mitigate impacts on fishing grounds. The report does not look at collaborations with fishermen and focuses on coastal and inland development.

The full report is available on the Chamber’s website.

Tony Sheridan, president and CEO of the chamber, said an additional forum to discuss the report is planned for the new year.

The report, he said in a statement, gives “a clear overview of the state of the industry in Connecticut and the Northeast, the economic opportunities available, our advantages in attracting those opportunities and the challenges. that can prevent the state from realizing maximum potential. offered by offshore wind.

Governor Ned Lamont, in a statement, said the state was eager to support private sector partners “as we further strengthen our position in this emerging industry and maximize its environmental benefits, the growth of jobs, economic development and our future as a state. “

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