Photo by Ian Dyball, Dreamstime
Ian Dyball Dreamstime

New York State Signs Offshore Wind Supply Contract with Ørsted, Eversource

Oct. 8, 2021
Gov. Kathy Hochul announced an offshore wind supply chain contract award in New York State to support the state's Sunrise Wind offshore wind project.

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced an offshore wind supply chain contract award in New York State to support the state's Sunrise Wind offshore wind project.

Ørsted and Eversource, Sunrise Wind's joint development partners, signed a $86 million supply chain contract with Riggs Distler & Company, Inc. to construct advanced foundation components for wind turbines at the Port of Coeymans, bringing construction and steel manufacturing work to New York companies located in the Capital Region and Western New York, and creating 230 family-sustaining jobs.

Additionally, the state will offer its next offshore wind solicitation in early 2022 targeting port infrastructure and supply chain investment to further maximize the long-term economic benefits of this burgeoning industry. The announcement supports New York State's nation leading goal to develop at least 9,000 MW of offshore wind by 2035.

"This new partnership for New York's Sunrise Wind project will infuse $86 million into New York's economy which directly benefits New York companies and creates quality construction and manufacturing jobs in local communities," said Gov. Hochul. "We are going to be bold in how we achieve our climate goals and with our upcoming early 2022 offshore wind solicitation, New York will again demonstrate its national leadership in the acceleration to a green economy."

Lieutenant Gov. Benjamin said, "The development of the U.S. offshore wind industry is a once in a generation opportunity that is providing significant economic and environmental benefits to communities across the state.  In seizing this moment, we are creating a new workforce of skilled labor, which will be able to compete globally and attract new supply chain businesses to support the offshore wind industry, and in turn drive New York's green economy."

The agreement solidifies New York State as a major construction and jobs hub for the Sunrise Wind project and positions the Port of Coeymans to be among the first ports in the United States to be mobilized for the construction of advanced foundation components for an offshore wind farm by U.S. workers.

It is anticipated 115 local union workers will be based at the Port of Coeymans to construct hundreds of large-scale and specialized components that are fundamental elements of the wind farm's turbine foundations. These components, ranging in size from 12 to 120 tons each and as tall as 40 feet, include the foundations' internal and external platforms, railings, steel ladders, cages, and other key parts that will attach to the monopile foundations the wind turbine generators will stand upon. 

With the execution of this contract, Riggs Distler & Company, Inc, a leading union construction solutions firm with offices in Mt. Vernon and Saugerties, New York, and Cherry Hill, New Jersey, will serve as the general contractor to build the prefabricated advanced foundation components at the Port of Coeymans. Once complete, the components will be shipped down the Hudson River and out to the Sunrise Wind offshore wind farm site, located in federal waters roughly 30 miles east of Montauk Point, N.Y. Riggs Distler is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Centuri Group, Inc.

Stephen Zemaitatis, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer of Riggs Distler, said, "Riggs Distler is pleased to be part of the U.S. offshore wind manufacturing base and at the forefront of this emerging clean energy industry in the Northeast. With more than 100 years in operations, we're proud to bring our skilled union workforce and local content to this first-of-its-kind project that will advance our region's climate goals and contribute to a cleaner, more sustainable future for our communities."

Additionally, this Sunrise Wind project investment will create significant manufacturing opportunities for local New York companies and create solid jobs for New Yorkers. Opportunities provided through this investment include:

  • Ljungström LLC, of Wellsville, in Alleghany County, New York, will manufacture the steel components and deliver them to the Port of Coeymans. This will create at least 100 jobs in Western New York.
  • The construction at the Port of Coeymans will be covered by a Project Labor Agreement. In accordance with the developers' commitment, Ørsted and Eversource will negotiate a Project Labor Agreement with the Greater Capital Region Building and Construction Trades Council, covering all construction work performed at the port in connection with the advanced components by Riggs Distler.
  • 115 skilled tradesmen and tradeswomen from New York's building and construction trades, including electricians, carpenters, concrete masons, operating engineers, ironworkers, laborers and others will be mobilized to fabricate the components at the Port of Coeymans.
  • Many additional New York opportunities will emerge for local construction support, transportation, facilities, and material supply to support the advanced components scope for Sunrise Wind. These include concrete supply, site support services, facilities, lighting, and equipment. 

Ørsted and Eversource, as part of Sunrise Wind, will also launch a $1 million workforce training initiative under the strategic leadership of the Center for Economic Growth. This will support project activities that support the project's scope, help raise job opportunity awareness and ensure area residents will have access to offshore wind economic opportunities, including efforts to prioritize skills training and hiring within disadvantaged communities.

 New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said, "This is a critical step in moving New York's offshore wind projects forward. As co-chair of the Just Transition Working Group, I am thrilled to see the progress we are making in developing renewable and green energy sources. In addition to preserving our environment, jobs created through green infrastructure will create quality careers for all New Yorkers, especially our disadvantaged and underrepresented populations."

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer said, "This tremendous news is a win-win-win. It's a win for our environment that New York is tapping into the great renewable resource of offshore wind.  It's a win for Capital Region economy that such large components of the project will be assembled here adding 230 jobs to the local economy. And it's a win for our men and women of organized labor, that Ørsted and Eversource have continued their commitment to do this work under a Project Labor Agreement."

Congressman Paul D. Tonko said, "Offshore wind presents a tremendous opportunity to deploy clean energy and reduce pollution all while promoting regional job creation and economic growth. Today's announcement of the partnership between Sunrise Wind, the Port of Coeymans, and Upstate New York businesses is a groundbreaking step to advance our clean energy goals and keep New York at the forefront of this new domestic industry. My congratulations to all involved in this project. I remain committed to fighting in Congress for federal policies that will ensure offshore wind plays a central role in our nation's clean energy future and that our Capital Region continues to benefit from greener ports and this emerging industry's job creation potential."

As part of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority's inaugural competitive 2018 offshore wind solicitation, New York State selected Sunrise Wind, which is 924-megawatt wind farm that will be located more than 30 miles east of Montauk Point. Construction is anticipated to start as early as 2023, with the wind farm expected to be fully operational in 2025.

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