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CEO DATELINE — Associations seek more port funding to support offshore wind power

April 13, 2021
By William Ehart

A group of trade associations is calling on congressional committee leaders to appropriate $750 million in port-development funds to support offshore wind projects.

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To be able to meet the (President Joe Biden)’s clean energy goals, achieve local economic development, and create new offshore wind construction and operation jobs, significant port infrastructure is needed,” the associations said in a letter Monday.

Congress appropriated $230 million to the Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration’s Port Infrastructure Development Program late last year. But the National Defense Authorization Act enacted Jan. 1 authorizes $750 million for the program.

“Although offshore wind developers have already committed over $729.5 million in port infrastructure, and states have committed more than $692 million to support proposed projects in these lease areas, additional funds are needed,” the letter states.

Signatories are the chief executives of the American Clean Power Association, American Association of Port Authorities, American Waterways Operators, National Ocean Industries Association, Dredging Contractors of America, Business Network for Offshore Wind and Associated Federal Pilots and Docking Masters of Louisiana.

The letter was addressed to the leaders of the House Transportation Committee and of the House Appropriations subcommittee for Housing and Urban Development. 

“The 15 active offshore wind lease areas and future areas to be auctioned need ports that have heavy-duty wharves, lay-down areas, manufacturing facilities, dredging, and other improvements to meet the specific requirements of the offshore wind industry,” the associations said in the letter.