seCTer selected to support development of Connecticut Wind Collaborative

Region’s role as offshore wind energy hub continues to grow        

seCTer’s role in the regional offshore wind energy industry continues to expand. In January, leaders in the CT Department of Economic and Community Development asked seCTer to serve as the incubator for the Connecticut Wind Collaborative.

The CWC is part of Connecticut’s Offshore Wind Strategic Roadmap, which calls for the new nonprofit to work collaboratively with business, industry, academia, across state agencies, and alongside stakeholders in neighboring states to advance the regional supply chain and workforce necessary to meet the growing demand for offshore wind energy.

In addition to promoting offshore wind activities across the state and executing priorities identified by the Roadmap, the Wind Collaborative will work with neighboring states to establish a regional offshore wind industry cluster.

seCTer’s current role is to serve as fiduciary and to provide administrative support and office space as necessary as outlined in a Shared Services Agreement. seCTer Executive Director Paul Whitescarver serves as Secretary of the CWC Board of Directors, and Paul Lavoie, CT Chief Manufacturing Officer, is Chairman. Kate Aufhauser, Gov. Ned Lamont’s Strategic Advisor for Economic Development, and Andrew Lavigne, Manager of the state’s Clean Economy Program at the DECD, will serve as co-vice chairs.

In the spirit of the Wind Collaborative’s commitment to multi-state cooperation, the board includes William Cox, Vice President of Business Development and Investment at Rhode Island Commerce. A Nominating Committee is now working to recommend 10 additional Board members from across industry, academia, and government. The search for a full-time Executive Director is underway, and requirements for the position can be viewed here

“Our role in supporting the launch of the Connecticut Wind Collaborative follows seCTer’s success in the first round of the federal Build Back Better Regional Challenge grant program that secured funding to support the offshore wind industry across the region,” Whitescarver said. “The Wind Collaborative is a non-profit agency intended to ensure that Connecticut remains a leader in bringing this new American industry to the region in a collaborative way that benefits New England workers and families.”   

seCTer received significant media coverage during the announcement, including in The Day, and several trade publications, including, eco Magazine and several others.

Last October, Gov. Ned Lamont, and the Governors of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, announced a New England offshore wind multi-state coordination memorandum of understanding – the first of its kind in the nation. This MOU creates a pathway for a coordinated selection of offshore wind projects as each state solicits wind energy generation through their respective state procurements. Under the plan, the states agreed to coordinate their solicitations for proposals from offshore wind farm developers. Although each state will run its own procurements, the agreement is intended to allow developers to save money by bidding larger projects across three states and reaching a broader market. Responses to all three states’ solicitations are due March 27.

Seed funding for the Wind Collaborative includes $577,500 received from the joint venture of Ørsted and Eversource, as part of their supply chain and workforce development commitments tied to their Revolution Wind project. Revolution Wind, to be located 32 miles southeast of the Connecticut shoreline, is Connecticut’s first offshore wind farm and is scheduled to begin delivering power to the grid by the end of 2025. Revolution Wind will include up to 65 turbines and provide 304mw of energy to the state. Another 400mw will power homes in Rhode Island. 

Wind turbine components will be assembled at and shipped from State Pier in the Port of New London, where work recently wrapped up on the 12 turbines of South Fork Wind, which is already providing power to the New York grid for homes on Long Island.

“The Connecticut Wind Collaborative will have an important role in helping to guide the development of an offshore wind economy in our state,” said Gov. Lamont. “Right now, throughout the United States, the offshore wind industry is seeking locations to grow and expand, and Connecticut has the opportunity to add hundreds of new good-paying jobs in this sector. We must work to ensure that Connecticut builds an offshore wind ecosystem that boosts local economies and spurs investment while also providing consumers with a source of clean, reliable, and affordable power.”

”We are very excited to launch the Connecticut Wind Collaborative. The Wind Collaborative will bring stakeholders across the region together to support the growing U.S. offshore wind industry,” said Chairperson Paul Lavoie, who also serves as Connecticut’s Chief Manufacturing Officer. “Offshore wind is an important component of Governor Lamont’s drive toward renewable energy sources to combat climate change. The Wind Collaborative is going to be the catalyst for growth in offshore wind by putting Connecticut at the epicenter of a regional coordinated effort. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to stand up a new industry in Connecticut and the region and the Wind Collaborative will be at the forefront of that effort.”

 “Connecticut has established itself as a leader in the offshore wind industry, thanks to its foresight, its commitment to the fight against climate change, and its willingness to invest in the local jobs and infrastructure needed to grow this new American industry,” said Nicole Verdi, Head of Government & Policy, New England, Ørsted. “Ørsted is proud to support the Connecticut Wind Collaborative as we work together to grow the industry across the region, drive economic development and job creation, and meet clean energy goals.”

“Connecticut’s Offshore Wind Strategic Roadmap emphasizes collaboration and how crucial it is to accelerate the equitable and sustainable growth of the region’s clean energy future,” said Ray Collins, Manager of Government Affairs, Eversource. “At Eversource, we firmly believe collaboration is critical to ensuring a cleaner, healthier future for everyone, and we are excited to support the Connecticut Wind Collaborative’s mission in the coming years as we bring more clean, renewable offshore wind energy to New England’s electric grid.”

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