Message from the Director: May 2019

The offshore wind bill passed by the House is not perfect, but it allows CT to leapfrog ahead in the race for offshore wind development.  By requiring CT DEEP to initiate an immediate solicitation for up to 2000 MW, this bill could put CT ahead of both MA and NY (and allow developers to access federal investment tax credits before they expire.)  Coupled with the recently announced public-private partnership to upgrade New London’s State Pier, this bill will position CT as the regional leader in offshore wind.

Perhaps most remarkable about this bill’s passage in the current political climate is the underlying bipartisanship and willingness to compromise. Earlier this year, we challenged the Lamont Administration to be bold, and Republican legislators were the strongest voice for an aggressive mandate.  Our Labor allies secured a commitment from the Governor for strong labor provisions, and Republican legislators have accepted them.  Legislators’ advocacy for the commercial fishing industry and for marine mammal protections led to a requirement that CT DEEP establish an advisory panel to help shape the environmental provisions to be included in the request for proposals.

In May 2017, I had my first conversation about offshore wind with leaders of IBEW Local 90. In February 2018, CRCJ joined Acadia Center in proposing a 2000 MW offshore wind mandate, and we proceeded to build broad support for that vision. Now, with the help of many allies, we’re almost there…

Aisha K. Staggers
Author: Aisha K. Staggers

Provider of "proactive and strategic communications" with a solid background in print and digital journalism. Communications Director of Connecticut Roundtable on Climate and Jobs.