US energy secretary visits the 'poster child' for offshore wind development for a visit to the 'poster child'
PROVIDENCE, CA The U.S. energy secretary visited the Providence River waterfront on Thursday to examine the new wind foundation manufacturing site being built at ProvPort, highlighting Rhode Island's outsized role in offshore energy production.
Secretary Jennifer Granholm told the fluorescent-garbed crowd of union leaders, energy company execs, politicians, and reporters, "This is the way it should be the partnership between the federal government, the state, labor, and the private sector."
Dimeo Construction is collaborating with Eversource and wind developer rsted to create a site for assembling foundation components for the South Fork wind project (which was approved by the federal government just last week) and eventually the even larger Revolution Wind and Sunrise Wind if those get approved. From there, it might serve future projects coming down the pike too.
It's the start of something," said David Hardy, CEO of rsted Offshore North America. "You can expand from there after you get the proper workforce.
The 12-turbine South Fork project, which is about 19 miles southeast of Rhode Island, will send power to Long Island. Revolution Wind would provide power to Connecticut and Rhode Island. Following Vineyard Wind, South Fork was the second major offshore wind farm approved by the US government. South Fork was only the second major offshore wind farm approved by the US government.
Granholm told fellow cabinet member Commerce Secretary (and former Rhode Island governor) Gina Raimondo on Wednesday that she was coming to Rhode Island because she has been at the forefront of wind power and wants to stay that way.
According to Granholm, Raimondo remarked, "We were the first!. Block Island was just the beginning!
According to the Department of Energy, the site at ProvPort will be one of the first of its kind in the United States; part of the supply chain, the department stated, still operates out of Europe.
It's not just the right thing to do for the environment," Gov. Dan McKee stated. But it's the right thing to do for jobs, the right thing to do for our economy.
But the jobs involved in this project will be extremely local, both the 40 union construction workers putting the building up now and the people eventually working in the facility itself, according to estimates that rsted's U.S. headquarters are split between Boston and Providence, and 250 people work here in America.
As part of the $40 million rsted and Eversource investment between ProvPort and another site at Quonset Point in North Kingstown, the local footprint is now rising by 228 feet laterally.
It's manufacturing fabrication jobs in the city of Providencethere'sn't a lot of that happening, said Chris Waterson, general manager of ProvPort's manager, Waterson Terminal Services. Those jobs will come from this community, he added.
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