New Facility To Build Offshore Wind Turbines Comes To Port

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The developers of multiple offshore wind projects in the northeast will build a facility in the port of Providence to assemble the rigs for floating wind turbines.

Orsted and Eversource are investing $24 million to build the facility with local union labor, the companies said on Wednesday.

The companies, "are keeping their commitment to making significant investments in Rhode Island to create new, good-paying union jobs and position our port facilities to become central hubs in this growing industry,” Gov. Dan McKee said in a statement.

The construction of the 228-foot-long facility will create 40 jobs. The companies have not yet said how many or what kinds of turbines the facility will build.

The companies are moving ahead with the facility in part in response to strong support from the Biden administration for offshore wind projects, which it says are an investment in slowing climate change.

The two companies are applying for permits and approvals for multiple offshore wind projects, including two sites in Rhode Island and a third in New York. Fishing groups have raised concerns about the spacing of the turbines and the projects' impacts on fish stock, among other issues.

Orsted purchased the company that built the first U.S. offshore wind farm off of Block Island in late 2016.