NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) — The offshore wind industry in the state is about to surpass a major milestone when a barge at New London’s State Pier sets sail Tuesday night.
After months of wind turbine parts arriving at State Pier, a large transport barge is loaded up with wind turbine components and will be heading out to the South Fork Wind Farm project off of Long Island.
The barge contains three turbine wind blades — each of them longer than a football field — along with the nacelle, which is the part that connects them all. The parts for the tower on the barge will stand almost 800 feet tall. It marks the beginning of the final phase of the South Fork Wind Farm project’s construction.
The wind farm is the first utility-scale offshore wind project in the nation. It’s expected to generate enough renewable energy to power 70,000 homes.
Joe Nolan, the CEO, president and chairman of Eversource’s board, said that customers will benefit from the next offshore wind project, which is called Revolution Wind. That project is expected to power more than 350,000 people in Connecticut and Rhode Island.
However, Nolan said that Eversource customers may not see a lower bill but said that renewable energy is better for the environment.
Revolution Wind will be 65 turbines strong, and that could create more opportunities for work on State Pier.
“[It will create] anywhere from 70 to 120 jobs once Revolution Wind gets ramped up,” said Ulysses Hammond, the executive director of the Connecticut Port Authority. “Right now, we have roughly 70 employees out here — 70 workers out here right now.”
There is no set start date for when Revolution Wind will begin.