BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH) — A big ribbon-cutting today in Bridgeport. The Park City Wind project opened its new headquarters downtown.
This marks the start of the state’s first offshore wind development project.
Officials celebrated the $26.5 million investment in Connecticut.
“It’s the beginning of a journey where we are all going to participate and help to bring clean wind energy to the state of Connecticut,” said Dennis Arriola, the Chief Executive Officer of AVANGRID.
The public-private partnership between Connecticut and Park City Wind is a joint venture between Vineyard Wind and AVANGRID.
They will build wind turbines placed off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard. Then an underground cable will send electricity to Massachusetts and the grid, allowing Connecticut residents to tap into clean energy.
“It helps us meet our greenhouse gas reduction targets by taking 25 million short tons of carbon dioxide over 20 years,” said Vicky Hackett, Deputy Commissioner of the State Department of Energy and the Environment.
The last coal-burning stack in Bridgeport was recently decommissioned. Bridgeport also has one of two deepwater ports in the northeast which helped them win the bid to house the project.
“Millstone won’t be with us forever. Now is the time to think about what the state’s gonna look like 10 to 15 years out. Wind power is going to be a big part of our carbon-free future,” added Gov. Ned Lamont.
To give you a sense of the scope and size of these turbines, they weigh 800 tons and from the middle of the fan out to the tip of the blade – it is the size of a football field.
If you are familiar with the tiny turbine in New Haven near the Q-Bridge, it’s equal to the size of one blade of the turbines being built in Bridgeport.
“This industry has rapid growth across the U.S. [and] is predicted to grow over $100 billion in the next 10 years,” CEO of Vineyard Wind Lars Petersen said.
The group is signing the first project labor agreement or PLA in the U.S. for an offshore wind project.
In addition to construction jobs, there will be a need for highly skilled offshore techs and environmental researchers.
Mayor Joe Ganim from Bridgeport says the PLA with the unions is a major step forward.
“Many local jobs as we can have that’s critical to a substance of the project,” Mayor Ganim said.
By 2025, the Park City Wind project is expected to generate 14% of the state’s electricity. Company officials say it represents the largest purchase of renewable energy in Connecticut history.