Lawmakers announce plan to make Albany area an offshore wind hub

Article Republished By Javier Troconis

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand speaks as she and U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko, left, stand at the Port of Albany to announce their plan to bring clean energy and renewable offshore wind jobs to the Albany area on Friday, May 6, 2022, in Albany, N.Y. 

Lori Van Buren/Times Union

Two federal lawmakers stopped Friday at the Port of Albany to promote a plan to make the Capital Region a hub of offshore wind development.

U.S. Sen. Kristen Gillibrand and U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko announced a bill that would to deploy offshore wind energy, create 77,000 jobs and cut carbon emissions. The legislation, the Restoring Offshore Wind Opportunities Act, would reverse a Trump-era ban on offshore wind leasing. 

“Clean energy and renewable jobs are the key to a successful future and a strong economy,” Gillibrand said in a news release. She said this legislation would “open the gates to innovation in clean energy.” 

The bill promises to generate help reach a goal set by President Joe Biden to generate 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030.  In January, the Biden administration also announced it would auction off leases to an area of ocean called the New York Bight off the coasts of New Jersey and New York — a boost to the Port of Albany’s plans for a wind turbine tower manufacturing facility in Bethlehem.

State lobbying records show that General Electric Co. has been quietly meeting with state and local officials in recent months about building an offshore wind manufacturing facility in the region, along with potential government subsidies that would be available for such a venture.

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