(The Center Square) – A program designed to bring jobs and advance Rhode Island’s economy broke ground Monday morning.
Gov. Dan McKee said the first phase of the South Quay Marine Terminal will create good-paying jobs and advance the state’s Blue Economy. The project, when finished, will serve as a staging area for the state’s wind turbine plan and will be a central hub for the region’s offshore wind economy.
“Rhode Island is a leader in offshore wind and this critical investment continues to ensure that our state remains at the center of this key industry,” McKee said in a release.
The East Providence project, which runs adjacent to the Providence River, is supported by $35 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding that will transform the land into a state-of-the-art port, according to the release.
“We are thrilled to see shovels in the ground on this project,” Providence Mayor Bob DaSilva said in the release. “Thanks to our public-private partnership with the state of Rhode Island and the RI Waterfront Enterprises, this parcel of land, which sat idle for more than 40 years, will be a game-changer for our city and the region both for the offshore wind industry and the number of local jobs it will create.”
The project, according to the release, will have priority access to New England, Canada, and the Midwest markets in the United States that will improve the supply chain for the offshore wind industry.
According to the release, state officials anticipate the port sustaining jobs to Rhode Islanders and other workers from the region. It is expected to benefit the environment while supporting clean, renewable energy production.
Design of the area and development of the waterfront to create a strong marine-industrial facility are in the first phase, the release says.
Other components of the first phase of the project, according to the release, include a 525-foot berth with a concrete platform to service large vessels. There will also be 10 acres of laydown area for offloading ships, along with other grading and improvements to the site.
The site, according to the release, is within 75 ocean miles to the Massachusetts and New York Wind Lease, which is anticipated to rely on South Quay for manufacturing, storage, and construction. In addition, the site is close in proximity to the I-195 and I-95 corridors that is anticipated to cut down on time and costs for transporting products.