Plan to upgrade Connecticut pier for wind industry approved

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A plan to upgrade a southeastern Connecticut port so it can become a staging area for the offshore wind industry has been approved.

Members of the Connecticut Port Authority on Tuesday voted unanimously to authorize the $157 million state pier project in New London. Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont, whose administration has been pushing for the public-private partnership to redevelop the waterfront site, noted the process has taken longer than expected because of the multiple entities involved, but said it was worth the wait.

“This is one we got right,” he said, predicting Connecticut may someday become the “Saudi Arabia of wind power."

Some Republican state lawmakers complained the process was still rushed. Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano of North Haven accused the Lamont administration of “moving full steam ahead with a major plan without considering the input of the public or lawmakers.”

Tuesday's agreement calls for improvements that would allow private developers to use the pier to deploy equipment for the construction of wind turbines off the coasts of Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey. The pier currently receives shipments of mostly steel, lumber, and salt.

Construction is expected to begin next year and be completed by August 2022.

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