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Construction starts at Rhode Island offshore wind hub

Christian Fernsby |
Governor Dan McKee and East Providence Mayor Bob DaSilva on September 12 broke ground on Phase 1 of the South Quay Marine Terminal project.

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When completed, this terminal will become a game-changing wind turbine staging area, creating a central hub for the Northeast’s growing offshore wind economy.

The Governor and Mayor were joined for the groundbreaking by Senator Jack Reed, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Congressman James Langevin, Congressman David Cicilline, House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi, Senate Majority Leader Michael McCaffrey, East Providence Town Council President Robert Britto, Michael Sabitoni, President, RI Building and Construction Trades Council, and Don Law, South Quay Property Owner.

“Rhode Island is a leader in offshore wind and this critical investment continues to ensure that our state remains at the center of this key industry,” said Governor Dan McKee.

“I’m grateful to our Congressional Delegation who made sure Rhode Island received our fair share of ARPA dollars and to the General Assembly for passing this proposal. Together, we will not only redevelop this land into a state of the art port but we will also create good paying jobs in the process.”

With prime access to New England, Canada, and the U.S. Midwest markets, South Quay will help streamline the offshore wind supply chain in Rhode Island and support the growth of the offshore wind industry.

Thanks to funding from President Biden and Rhode Island’s Congressional Delegation, in his FY 23 budget, Governor McKee directed $35 million in American Rescue Plan funds for South Quay to transform an undeveloped parcel in East Providence and create a large integrated intermodal shipping hub to support the offshore wind industry.

East Providence’s South Quay Marine Terminal project will create a large, integrated, and centralized hub of intermodal shipping specially designed to support the budding offshore wind industry.

The terminal will provide a significant number of jobs for Rhode Island residents over the years, along with benefits to the state and region, as well as the environment, and improve freight-transport conditions and support the development of clean renewable energy.

Under the funding provided for Phase 1, the project development team (City of East Providence, RI Waterfront Enterprises, and RI Commerce) seek to finish the design activities and develop the waterfront portion of the South Quay Marine Terminal to result in a highly robust marine-industrial facility.

Phase 1 includes the following components:

• A 525 foot berth, with a cofferdam bulkhead and concrete platform – this is enough for a single large vessel to berth (such as an offshore wind installation vessel, which are typically less than 500 feet long), or two barges, which are the types of vessels projected to be used for early mover offshore wind projects.

• Fendering, bollards, and water service at the bulkhead to accommodate large vessels.

• Approximately 10 acres of laydown area in the uplands behind the bulkhead. This laydown area would be operationally functional to allow for storage of materials/components.

• Additional grading and land improvements throughout the site.

South Quay is situated along the Providence River, right outside of the bustling Providence Harbor and adjacent to a deep-water channel. Additionally, the site is located within 75 nautical miles to the Massachusetts and New York Wind Lease, areas which will rely on sites like the South Quay for manufacturing, storage and construction.

The site is also adjacent to I-195 and I-95 which run through Rhode Island making the site very accessible to large interstate and highway systems, decreasing time and cost for the transportation of goods.


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