Governor Dan McKee took an important step towards maintaining Rhode Island’s leadership in wind energy with last month’s announcement of a $60 million investment of ARPA funds at Quonset’s Port of Davisville. These funds will preserve thousands of existing jobs at the port while preparing Rhode Island for the wind energy jobs of the future. As it stands, Quonset Business Park is already home to over 200 companies and 12,200 jobs while Davisville hosts one of the Top 10 auto importers in North America. The ARPA funds designated by governor McKee will position Davisville to become a regional leader in the offshore wind industry, supporting the 2,510 megawatts of off-shore projects proposed from Cape Cod to New Jersey.
Quonset has experience and a proven record of success supporting wind energy development, having played a key role in the development of Deepwater Wind’s Block Island project. Components of the project arrived in Rhode Island at Quonset, including the steel jackets and more than 28 miles of undersea cable. In addition, Quonset served as the principle port for the project’s heavy installation vessels over a two-year span while Quonset-based companies participated in every aspect of the project’s construction. Meanwhile, almost every land-based wind turbine in R.I. had their component parts shipped through the Port of Davisville.
Looking ahead, this $60 million investment proposed by governor McKee will fund critical upgrades to our port facilities that will support a variety of off-shore wind logistics uses, including transportation of heavier cargo that off-shore wind projects require. The funds will support a variety of projects at the port, including the rehabilitation of 80-year old Pier 1 and the construction of a new multi-purpose pier at Terminal 5 that will add capacity to support all aspects of offshore wind construction in addition to our successful international automobile import business. We will also construct new docking space to support Crew Transfer Vessels (CTVs) and Support Offshore Vessels (SOVs) for offshore wind construction projects and landside improvements, as well
Strategic investments in the Port of Davisville are investments in Rhode Island’s economic and environmental future. Gov. McKee’s proposal is a targeted approach to keep moving Rhode Island forward. With Quonset’s track record of return on investment, we look forward to maintaining Rhode Island’s “first in the water” advantage and making the Ocean State a leader in the off-shore wind industry for generations to come.
Steven King, PE, is the managing director of the Quonset Development Corp., North Kingstown, RI.