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Bridgeport poised to become offshore wind hub with state approval of Vineyard Wind proposal

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Connecticut has selected developer Vineyard Wind to advance to contract negotiations with the state’s electric distribution companies to provide 804 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind through the development of the Park City Wind Project.

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A rendering of the Park City Wind Project, courtesy Vineyard Wind.

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s (DEEP) selection of the project, which will provide the equivalent of 14% of the state’s electricity supply, represents the largest purchase of renewable energy in Connecticut’s history.

The project includes an estimated $890 million in direct economic development in Connecticut, including Bridgeport Harbor and the local supply chain. Plans include redeveloping the waterfront Barnum Landing property for future turbine assembly, and establishing an operations and maintenance facility.

In October, Vineyard Wind announced a partnership with Marmon Utility, a Marmon/Berkshire Hathaway company headquartered in Seymour, to create the first Tier 1 offshore wind supplier in the U.S. That agreement calls for Marmon Utility to establish manufacturing capabilities at its Connecticut facility producing Kerite cables to supply some or all of the inter-array cable cores that will be needed for Park City Wind.

The project also includes a commitment to pay no less than the prevailing wage and to negotiate in good faith for a mutually agreeable project labor agreement.

It will more than double the amount of new zero-carbon renewable energy procured by DEEP to date, and represents what DEEP said is a major step toward Gov. Ned Lamont’s goal of a 100% zero-carbon electricity supply by 2040.

The Park City Wind project is offered at a price lower than any other publicly announced offshore wind project in North America. When it comes online in 2025, the project will enable Connecticut to avoid emitting more than 25 million tons of carbon dioxide while improving electric grid reliability in cold winter periods, a critical feature that will speed Connecticut’s transition away from reliance on natural gas power plants.

The project also includes an estimated $890 million in direct economic development in Connecticut, including Bridgeport Harbor and the local supply chain. The project includes a commitment to pay no less than the prevailing wage and to negotiate in good faith for a mutually agreeable project labor agreement.

Lamont said the project “sets up Connecticut as a regional leader in the creation of a thriving industry that will bring tangible benefits for our state and the entire region.”

“Today’s announcement takes Connecticut one step closer to being the epicenter of the new offshore wind industry, with thriving ports in both Bridgeport and New London,” said Vineyard Wind CEO Lars Pedersen. “We look forward to building on the work already underway with a network of project partners, local officials, the maritime community, other developers, and all stakeholders involved to make Connecticut a hub for the offshore wind industry in the United States for decades to come.”

DEEP’s final RFP was issued on Aug. 16. On Oct. 30, the agency received more than 30 bids from three different developers in response to the RFP. DEEP said it completed its procurement process in record time, to capture lower pricing as a result of federal tax incentives set to expire this year.

The resulting contracts will be subject to review and approval by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA).

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