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GE plans to build 2 offshore wind facilities at Port of Coeymans

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By Melanie Lekocevic

Capital Region Independent Media

GE has submitted plans to build two new manufacturing facilities for offshore wind components — blades and nacelles — at the Port of Coeymans. Melanie Lekocevic/Capital Region Independent Media

COEYMANS — GE announced Thursday that it has submitted plans to build two new manufacturing facilities at the Port of Coeymans.

The company would move forward with the plans for offshore wind manufacturing facilities if it receives a sufficient volume of orders to support the project, according to a statement from GE.

“To support localized content and New York’s vision to become the nation’s offshore wind manufacturing hub, GE proposed building the factories with Carver Companies at their Port of Coeymans site,” according to the statement. “These cutting-edge factories are designed to advance New York as the foundation of a clean-energy economy while supporting the local community through durable jobs and positive economic impact.”

The project would bring nearly 900 permanent jobs to Coeymans.

One of the two facilities would build wind turbine blades, creating approximately 650 jobs, according to the company, and the second manufacturing facility would produce nacelles, units that house the generating components of a wind turbine, which would create around 220 permanent jobs.

If the two facilities are built, they would also create nearly 1,000 construction jobs.

The project would generate millions of dollars of related economic benefits, according to GE.

“As a leading manufacturer and innovator in developing renewable energy technology, GE is ideally positioned to help New York secure its vision of becoming a leading manufacturing hub for offshore wind technology,” said Scott Strazik, CEO of GE Vernova, the company’s portfolio of energy businesses. “Our proposal leverages GE’s unique and unparalleled expertise, resources and track record — including a 130-year legacy of manufacturing in New York — to make this vision a reality in a durable and sustainable way.”

Coeymans Town Supervisor George McHugh said he has been in contact with the Port of Coeymans and was pleased with the company’s plans.

“It’s all very exciting for Coeymans and we welcome the jobs and green economic development,” McHugh said.

GE’s proposal commits to hire and train new employees from areas that are economically disadvantaged.

“For example, the company will launch an outreach program called Pathways to Wind to provide historically underserved communities exposure, education and training in the emerging offshore wind industry,” according to GE.

The company will work with 24 educational institutions to implement training to draw workers to the Port, including Schenectady County Community College and SEAT — the Social Enterprise and Training Center — and is collaborating with other agencies to enhance diversity as it works to staff the two new facilities.

McHugh said at the Jan. 26 meeting of the town board that he has voiced support for several companies seeking to build offshore wind facilities in the town in response to the NYS Energy Research and Development Authority, or NYSERDA, call for offshore wind proposals.

“I wrote several letters of support as the town supervisor for different applicants that are looking to locate in the Port of Coeymans for the offshore wind initiatives,” McHugh said. “Those applications were all due today and we should hear something in the next 30 to 60 days as to who is getting a part of the $500 million that NYSERDA is awarding to different companies that are competing for the offshore wind work.”

“Coeymans is definitely in the running for several of those,” McHugh added. “It should be very interesting.”

Thursday was the deadline for manufacturers to submit their proposals to NYSERDA, so more offshore wind projects could be headed to the area.

U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko, D-20, said he welcomed the proposals and the economic development they would bring with them.

“With the completion of New York’s third request for offshore wind projects, I am heartened to see that multiple developers include Capital Region manufacturing projects in their proposals that could bring hundreds of good paying, green manufacturing jobs to our region,” Tonko said. “I have always believed in the potential of our region to play a leading role in offshore wind and clean-energy development.”

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