Avangrid pulls the plug on proposed Bridgeport Park City Wind project | WSHU

October 5, 2023


As published by WSHU:

Avangrid’s decision to terminate its power purchase agreement for Park City Wind takes the wind out of a project that was aimed at transforming Bridgeport into an offshore wind hub.

The company opted to pay a $16 million penalty to terminate its power purchase agreement with the Connecticut Electric Distribution Companies for its Bridgeport-based Park City Wind project, Avangrid, the Spanish-owned parent company of United Illuminating, said in a statement released on Tuesday.

UI, the state’s second largest electric utility, pulled the plug on the project because of interest rate hikes, record inflation and supply chain disruptions, the company said.

The economic headwinds were acknowledged by Gov. Ned Lamont on Wednesday, but he said he remains bullish on offshore wind.

“You know there are some constraints. You can say fundamentally I worry about the wind power industry, I don’t. I think these are short-term things. And we are going to keep going out to bid as we get the market right,” Lamont said in New London on Wednesday

Bridgeport had been promised that offshore wind would create thousands of jobs and lead to more than $1.5 billion in investment and economic development opportunities. So this is a big blow to Bridgeport, said state Senator Ryan Fazio, the ranking Republican on the Energy Committee.

“New London and Bridgeport had been promised something, and electricity consumers had been promised something that was unlikely going to come to fruition from the beginning,” Fazio said.

Local observers had anticipated that the project would be abandoned.,

“Mayor Ganim has been pretty quiet on this project. We learned back in May that his administration through the rezoning, had rezoned the land that Avangrid was supposed to use for their staging from industrial use to residential use,” said Callie Gale Heilmann, an activist with Bridgeport Generation Now.

She added state officials should also be blamed, “What we need is people from the governor on down fighting for good paying jobs like these not just to come to Bridgeport but stay in Bridgeport.”

Avangrid has said the best path forward is a state rebid of the project.