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    Baker proposes $20 million in state funding for Brayton Point development


    May 22, 2022 - Audrey Cooney, The Herald News

     

      SOMERSET — A new supplemental budget proposal from Gov. Charlie Baker would include $20 million for development of a wind energy manufacturing facility on Brayton Point.

      Speaking in Salem on Wednesday, Baker announced a new $1.7 billion midyear spending bill. The bill includes $100 million to build out ports in Somerset, New Bedford and Salem to help those communities become hubs for the state's quickly growing offshore wind industry.

      "The longer we wait to fund these projects, the longer we wait to break ground, the longer we wait to get going, the higher the costs of these projects will be and the farther back in line we'll be," he said.

      Prysmian Group, an Italian company that specializes in manufacturing electrical cables, signed a contract this past February to buy 47 acres at Brayton Point to construct a facility that will make submarine power cables for both the Commonwealth Wind project planned for near the coast of Massachusetts and the Park City Wind project that will bring wind energy to Connecticut.

      The company says the project will create approximately 50 to 80 temporary construction jobs and 160 to 200 local high-skilled jobs once the facility is operational.

      "People said this was never gonna happen: Brayton Point to reap benefits of offshore wind

      In a statement on Wednesday, the company praised Baker and lawmakers including Rep. Patricia Haddad of Somerset for their efforts to grow the offshore wind industry in Massachusetts.

      "This commitment by Governor Baker gets us another step closer to realizing our vision to transform Brayton Point into a hub for manufacturing and innovation in offshore wind. The state's commitment coupled with Prysmian's investment of more than $200M will enable Brayton Point to service offshore wind projects up and down the East Coast creating long-term jobs in this emerging industry," the statement read in part.

      Vineyard Offshore is the leading company behind the Commonwealth Wind project.

      "Investment in port infrastructure is critically important to not just the success of the offshore wind industry but also to reaching our carbon pollution reduction targets and advancing the goals of vital port communities," their CDO Rachel Pachter said in a statement on Wednesday. "With today's announcement, Governor Baker is making it clear that Massachusetts will continue to play a leading role in the build out of this industry.

      "Energy heroes": New documentary highlights efforts to bring clean energy to Somerset

      Material from the State House News Service was used in this report.

      Audrey Cooney can be reached at acooney@heraldnews.com. Support local journalism by purchasing a digital or print subscription to The Herald News today.

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