Quonset Business Park awarded $22.3 million TIGER grant
March 10, 2010 - Rhode Island
The $22.3 million TIGER grant will facilitate the Quonset Development Corp. (QDC) plans to expand the use of the Park's Port of Davisville and also help with the development of the Park as a national hub in renewable energy and offshore wind industries. The grant recognizes the progress already made, and provides essential funding for developing both the offshore wind and short sea shipping initiatives. As one of only 51 TIGER grant recipients out of 1,457 national applicants, the business park will put the $22.3 million of highly desirable stimulus money toward crucial projects that include:
* Pier repairs-deck surfacing, fenders and marine hardware,
* Rebuilding of rail tracks in the port area,
* Terminal improvements,
* Crane platforms and,
* A crane suitable to load and off load windmill components as well as containers.
The TIGER grant will set the stage for hundreds of new jobs as Quonset continues to build on its success.
"This is a tremendous boost to our ongoing efforts to make Quonset the nation's hub in renewable energy and offshore wind industries, and to achieve our goal of 20% of energy use from renewable sources by 2020," said governor Donald Carcieri. "[The grant] will expedite much needed infrastructure improvements to the Quonset pier to support Deepwater Wind's plans to construct the nation's first offshore, deepwater wind project."
"Receiving this grant is a testament to the federal and state governments' collaboration and working toward one goal," said Keith Stokes, executive director of the R.I. Economic Development Corp. "Increasing the number of green jobs in Rhode Island is a focus for the RIEDC and this funding will assist us in this mission."
Deepwater Wind is actively planning two Rhode Island offshore wind projects: The Block Island Wind Farm, with up to 8 wind turbines located three miles off the coast of Block Island, and the Rhode Island Offshore Wind Farm, a project that will be located 15 to 20 miles offshore. The Block Island project is on target to become the nation's first offshore wind farm. Deepwater Wind has an option to lease 117 acres at Quonset Business Park for the development of the two proposed wind farms.
The 3,160-acre Quonset Business Park was the only winner in Rhode Island to be granted a piece of the $1.5 billion allotment approved to fund last year's American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. We are thrilled to be honored with such a distinction. Quonset has the capacity to continue flourishing with this grant. It is exciting to see our business park bustling with more and more activity, promising new economic growth, hundreds of new jobs, and the development of green energy.
Sens. Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse joined with Reps. Jim Langevin and Patrick Kennedy in advocating for the Quonset grant along with the governor.
"I believe that the potential at Quonset both as a staging and fabrication facility for offshore wind and for short-haul shipping was very compelling," Reed said. "I think it's going to build on what's been going on for the last 20 years. This is going to be a next step."
Steven King, P.E. is the managing director of the Quonset Business Park, North Kingston.