NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) – Gov. Ned Lamont was in New London on Wednesday to discuss the future of offshore wind, a new strategic road map for economic development in Connecticut.
The roadmap will be supported by a newly formed public and private group called the Connecticut Wind Collaborative, according to Lamont.
Lamont announced a first-of-its-kind partnership between Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The states will be taking part in New England’s first offshore wind multi-state coordination memorandum of understanding.
The three states will seek offshore wind proposals that would expand benefits for the region and help with cost reductions, according to state officials.
“This commitment to work together with our sister states is yet another action that we’re taking to help secure offshore wind in an affordable way,” Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Katie Dykes said.
The offshore wind project is expected to save Connecticut money and help to reduce electric rates for state residents.
The company Avangrid just pulled out of its contract to provide electricity through a Bridgeport-based offshore wind project because of challenges in the industry.
“In terms of particularly interest rates and supply chain they wanted to change the terms of engagement,” Lamont said.
Eversource also pulled out of its partnership with Orsted last Spring on the Revolution Wind Project.
Eversource CEO Joe Nolan said with limited funds it will instead focus on building its land-based infrastructure and continue investments in other projects with Orsted.
“They’re 95 percent contracted,” Nolan said. “We continue to drive these projects forward. We’re excited about it. We’re actively involved in it so we’re not taking our foot off the gas pedal.”
Connecticut Chief Manufacturing Officer Paul Lavoie said some early investors should be on board soon.
Lamont and New London Mayor Michael Passero (D-Conn.) said they believe economic challenges will be temporary and ratepayers will benefit in the long run.
“We’re looking at approximately between $2.5 million to and $3 million a year to support the collaborative at its full operation,” Passero said.