Nation’s first offshore wind tower plant to be built in Albany

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FILE – In this March 29, 2020, file photo, a bird flies among wind turbines near King City, Mo. The Trump administration is moving to scale back criminal enforcement of a century-old law protecting most American wild bird species. The former director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service told AP billions of birds could die if the government doesn’t hold companies liable for accidental bird deaths. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The first offshore wind tower manufacturing facility in the U.S. is set to be constructed in the Port of Albany, Governor Cuomo has announced. Speaking on Tuesday, the Governor said the facility will lead to 500 construction jobs and 300 long-term jobs for highly skilled workers.

The facility will produce 150 offshore wind towers annually and forms part of a $29 billion green energy plan the Governor outlined in the third part of his State of the State address.

“Green energy is a pressing moral imperative and a prime economic opportunity. New York can and will be the nation’s leader for renewable energy innovation and production, all while securing jobs of the future for New Yorkers.

Our entire green energy program will create a total 12,400 megawatts of green energy to power 6 million homes, directly create more than 50,000 jobs, and spur $29 billion in private investment all across the state.”

Governor Andrew Cuomo

Norwegian company Equinor proposed the Port of Albany as the site for its new manufacturing facility in November 2020.

The Governor says manufacturing materials will arrive at the facility by rail, and the finished products will be shipped down the Hudson River.

A number of advocates and officials have welcomed both the news of the manufacturing facility and the wider renewable energy plans outlined in the address.

In a statement, County Executive McCoy said the manufacturing of equipment and infrastructure for the green energy sector had been “outsourced to other states and countries for too long.”

“It’s not enough to invest in the production of a carbon-free energy sector. We need to also invest in the manufacturing of the very equipment and infrastructure needed to wean ourselves off of fossil fuels that have been outsourced to other states and countries for too long.

Albany County has made incredible strides towards becoming one of the greenest counties in the State, but now with this project, we will help New York continue to be a leader in the production of renewable energy in the entire country.

I want to thank my team for their advocacy and for working with the Center for Economic Growth and the Port of Albany to help make this a reality. I commend Governor Cuomo and NYSERDA for their vision of a greener, safer and more sustainable future.”

Albany County Executive Dan McCoy

A number of figures from the Albany County Legislature also welcomed the news. Chairman Andrew Joyce also pointed out promoting renewable energy, green initiatives and economic development has been a key focus of the legislature, while others were grateful for the hundreds of “well-paying” jobs headed to the region.

“We are thrilled with the news that the Port of Albany has been selected as a wind tower manufacturing site. Promoting renewable energy, green initiatives and economic development has been a key focus for the Albany County Legislature. We’ve been advocating for wind turbine manufacturing in Albany County, and we’re excited to continue the work needed to make this transformational project a reality,” said .

Albany County Legislature Chairman Andrew Joyce

Legislator William Reinhardt, Chairman of the Conservation, Sustainability and Green Initiatives Committee said “these green manufacturing jobs only scratch the surface of what is possible for sustainable economic development if we fully embrace state and local policies and investment to transition to the climate-sustaining economy that is within our grasp.”

Legislator Sean Ward, Chairman of the Economic Development Committee, commended the governor before adding the Legislature is grateful for the efforts of the many people at State and County level who worked hard to bring the project to Albany county.

Assemblymember Patricia Fahy, who represents District 109 (Albany), welcomed both the jobs “at a time when they are sorely needed” and hoped the project would “cement the Capital Region as the nation’s first real hub for offshore wind energy infrastructure.”

“Offshore wind will rapidly become a centerpiece of New York State’s energy infrastructure in the years to come, and this will cement the Capital Region as the nation’s first real hub for offshore wind energy infrastructure.

In addition to helping New York achieve its ambitious energy efficiency and carbon emission goals set forth under the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, this project will create 500, good-paying long-term jobs for Capital Region residents at a time when they are sorely needed.

I commend Governor Cuomo and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) for his continued leadership on the transcendent threat of climate change, and the Port of Albany for their vision and investment in the clean energy grid of tomorrow.”

Assemblymember Patricia Fahy (Albany)

The Director of the New York Offshore Wind Alliance, Joseph Martens, described the steps the Governor has outlined as a “quantum leap forward.” Martens also said the Governors commitment to renewable energy goes “hand in hand with his commitment to address historic environmental injustices and present new opportunities to underserved and frontline communities.”

At a time when bold action is needed to rebuild our state’s economy and combat the climate crisis, Governor Cuomo took a quantum leap forward today to help meet these historic challenges. His announcement in today’s State of the State address that the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority will contract for an additional 2,500 megawatts of clean, renewable offshore wind energy further supports the tireless efforts of a broad-based coalition of political leaders, environmental and labor organizations, developers and communities across the state to cement New York as the epicenter of this new and growing industry to the United States. 

The Governor’s commitment to offshore wind and clean, renewable energy goes hand-in-hand with his commitment to address historic environmental injustices and present new opportunities to underserved and frontline communities. The investment in New York ports, transmission infrastructure, worker training and development of New York’s supply chain bode well for New York’s nation-leading transition to a clean energy economy.

The New York Offshore Wind Alliance applauds the Governor’s bold and visionary announcement and commits to working with his Administration to ensure it is realized.

Joseph Martens, Director, New York Offshore Wind Alliance

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