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State Senator

Norm Needleman

Representing Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland and Westbrook

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House Passes Key Sen. Needleman Bill Allowing For Increased Collection Of Offshore Wind Energy

HARTFORD, CT – This week, the House passed legislation that would authorize the state of Connecticut to increase collection of energy created by offshore wind turbines. This allows the state to benefit from diversification of power and energy sources, additionally benefitting the state by giving it increased access to energy-efficient alternative fuel sources. State Senator Norm Needleman (D-Essex) played a key role in the bill’s development in his position of Senate Chair of the Energy and Technology Committee.

House Bill No. 7156, “An Act Concerning The Procurement of Energy Derived From Offshore Wind,” increases procurement of offshore wind in Connecticut to 2,000 megawatts. The bill increases Connecticut’s access and reliance on renewable energy sources, additionally bolstering job growth in the wind energy industry and increasing potential investment in power infrastructure from the private sector. The shift would represent 30 percent of the state’s entire energy load coming from offshore wind sources, part of the state’s goal of generating 40 percent of energy from renewable resources by 2030.

“Offshore wind presents a fantastic opportunity for our state to expand its use of energy-efficient power sources,” said Sen. Needleman. “It’s just what Connecticut needs to decrease our reliance on pollutive fuels while giving increased access to renewable energy. I’m heartened to see this legislation pass the House and look forward to it reaching the Senate floor.”

This bill received overwhelming support from legislators and members of the public, who said the state could move toward a clean energy network and align with neighboring states already benefitting from offshore wind. Dozens of organizations and individuals, ranging from shoreline wind companies to the Connecticut State Building and Construction Trades Council, endorsed it. It represents an opportunity for the state to pursue economic development in the wind industry, giving businesses the opportunity to pursue the power source. It may also lead to Connecticut’s energy bills, currently the most expensive in the continental United States, declining, benefitting consumers, and could expand hiring in the burgeoning industry.

Its approval comes just weeks after Governor Ned Lamont announced that New London’s State Pier would receive $93 million in infrastructure improvements to accommodate wind turbine generator assembly and staging, the latest action taken by the state to expand its access to wind energy.

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