New York State announced a plan to activate Port Cortlandt, one of Westchester County’s key Hudson River access points, as the state’s next offshore wind economic hub, to recover from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 crisis.
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) confirmed the Port Cortlandt waterfront site is among 11 sites competing for up to $200 million in grant funding to develop critical port infrastructure. The funding is part of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s commitment to developing 9,000 MW of offshore wind energy by 2035 – the most aggressive offshore wind plan in the US.
Port Cortlandt’s bid seeks to redevelop a 54-acre waterfront and upland property owned by the Town of Cortlandt just south of Indian Point Energy Center, which is owned and operated by Entergy Nuclear Northeast. The Center is scheduled to be shut down next year to complete Entergy’s exit from its merchant power business due to sustained low wholesale energy prices. The facility is a three-unit 2,000-MW nuclear power plant station located in Buchanan, NY.
The new project could bring investment, green jobs, community benefits and a new source of tax revenue, as the shutdown will leave a large impact.
New York’s offshore wind supply chain depends on the type of infrastructure that Port Cortlandt is ideally suited for, says NYSERDA, including vital wind turbine manufacturing, fabrication, storage and launching facilities.
Located alongside a deep-water channel, Port Cortlandt offers natural protection from storm surges and flooding, and the unused property promises to require low construction and operational costs, according to the state. The development could exceed 180 acres in total.
A proposer’s conference was held on Aug. 12 and bids are due Oct. 20. A proposer’s conference provides an opportunity for proposers to clarify or elaborate on any plans and answer questions. NYSERDA expects New York’s first two offshore wind ports to be operational by 2024.
James F. Creighton, town councilman for Cortlandt, said, “The announcement that Port Cortlandt could help support the green infrastructure needs of New York State while bringing major investment and good paying union jobs to our community is welcome news here in Cortlandt. With the imminent closing of the last Indian Point nuclear generating unit next April, the Town of Cortlandt is committed to remaining a vibrant, beautiful, economically stable and sustainable community in the Hudson Valley region.”
“This project could not have come at a better time, especially after the announcement of the closure of Indian Point Energy Center and pending loss of 1,000 jobs,” said Thomas Carey, president of the Westchester/Putnam Central Labor Body AFL-CIO.” This project will require a skilled workforce, which means high paying jobs to those who need it most. This is a very exciting project to many of us in the building trades as we look forward to the future energy needs of not only Westchester County but all across the country. I always supported the nuclear industry but now we must look to the future of clean energy and reducing our carbon footprint.”