Somerset’s Brayton Point site to host offshore wind cable plant

SOMERSET — Brayton Point is finally getting the kind of attention its current owner has wanted since the former coal-fired power station closed in 2017.

And it’s about the future of renewable offshore wind power generation.

Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito were among a crowd of elected officials and state agency officials who visited the 306-acre site on Thursday for a press conference held inside of a portable tent.

They announced a contractual agreement for the sale of 47 acres to the Italian group Prysmian for the manufacture of submarine electric cables for the Commonwealth Wind and Park City Wind offshore wind projects.

Celebrating the announcement of the Prysmian Group submarine transmission cable manufacturing facility to be built at Brayton Point, Governor Charlie Baker, Dennis Arriola, CEO of Avangrid, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and Vice -Senior Chairman of Prysmian Hakan Ozmen Group.

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“It’s truly been a team sport for the past seven years,” Baker said, describing “the courage, commitment and discipline” exemplified by local lawmakers, state officials and businesses having expertise in long-term offshore wind projects.

More jobs and more electricity to come

The deal to build the cable manufacturing plant at Brayton Point, according to a Prysmian official who signed the sale contract, represents a potential investment by the company of up to $300 million.

It will also lead to the creation of as many as 250 well-paying jobs at the Somerset site, said signatory Hakan Ozmen, who is in charge of Prysmian Group’s EVP projects.

The Commonwealth Wind project which will operate in the Atlantic Ocean 20 miles south of Nantucket won state approval last December for a power purchase agreement for just over 1,200 megawatts of power generation. ‘electricity.

Another offshore wind project, Mayflower Wind, has secured 400 megawatts and had previously won state approval for an 800 megawatt power purchase agreement.

To log in :Mayflower Wind plans connection point in Somerset at Brayton Point

A rendering of the manufacturing plant at Brayton Point.

Mayflower Wind already has a transmission rights deal with Commercial Development Company — the St. Louis development company that bought the Somerset site in 2018 for just under $9 million — to convert direct current to alternating current at the way of a National Grid substation at Brayton Point.

The Brayton Point site is located where the Taunton River meets Mount Hope Bay.

Park City Wind, which will supply power to the grid in Connecticut, and Commonwealth Wind, which will send its power to a site in Cape Cod, are owned by Connecticut-based Avangrid.

Avangrid and its subsidiary Avangrid Renewables, part of Spanish utility company Iberdrola, have pledged to invest up to $900 million in the Commonwealth Wind and Park City Wind offshore wind farm projects, according to a press release. .

Avangrid is also a joint partner with Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, owner of the offshore Vineyard Wind project, which was approved in 2019 by the Massachusetts Department of Public Works for 800 megawatts, making it the first utility-scale wind project in the world. country.

State Representative Pat Haddad speaks with Prysmian Group Senior Vice President Hakan Ozmen during the announcement of the Brayton Point offshore wind turbine manufacturing facility on Thursday.

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Tribute to Pat Haddad

Veteran State Representative Patricia “Pat” Haddad, whose 5th District includes her hometown of Somerset, was singled out for spearheading efforts to bring offshore wind power generation to the South Coast.

U.S. Representative Jake Auchincloss, who represents the 4th congressional district, called Haddad a “role model” and an example of “a public servant who fights for your district.”

An emotional Haddad recalled how in 2014 – when it was clear Somerset would lose millions of dollars in tax revenue once the coal-fired power station closed – she held a meeting at the town library to discuss the possibility of bring offshore wind energy to the region. .

“With three 3-ring binders and a bill, I began my quest,” she said.

Governor Charlie Baker speaks to the media during the announcement of the Brayton Point offshore wind farm on Thursday.

Among those to whom Haddad gave credit were State Rep. Tony Cabral; former House Speaker Robert DeLeo; Sense state. Marc Pacheco and Michael Rodrigues; local unions; and residents of the neighborhood adjacent to Brayton Point.

“It’s going to be awesome,” Haddad said. “I know some people have told me I’m an arrogant broad, but at the end of the day it’s about working together.”

Democratic Senator Pacheco, whose First Plymouth and Bristol districts include Taunton, said the investment made by Prysmian in Brayton Point and the booming wind industry will have a major regional impact in terms of employment opportunities and residual economic benefits.

“You’re just going to see a huge spinoff,” Pacheco said, that will allow various small businesses to become part of a larger supply chain.

When will the factory be open?

Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides, who was also a guest speaker, noted that the progress made at Brayton Point represents an important milestone in the quest to develop offshore renewable energy generation.

Avangrid CEO Dennis Arriola said the Brayton Point cable manufacturing facility will likely be operational no later than early 2026.

He said it can take up to 18 months for the licensing process and another one to two years to finalize contracts.

Prysmian has been manufacturing cables for customers not involved in wind farm projects for several years in two buildings in North Dighton.

Somerset residents Ed Faria and Dan Medeiros outside Brayton Point.  They say they don't care what is done with the site as long as the scrap metal is removed and the dust and smells stop.

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Local residents objected to noise and dust – site may change

In recent years a number of local residents have complained about the noise and dust from the trucks of a scrap metal company that leased land in Brayton Point.

A handful of them could be seen outside the property on Thursday holding signs opposing the scrap operation.

A large foreign tanker collecting scrap and heading for Turkey was moored at the site on Thursday as the press conference was held.

Defending:Somerset neighbors unite against increased activity at Brayton Point site

Steven Collins, executive vice president of Brayton Point LLC of Commercial Development Company, said in a statement that his company has “worked over the past four years to reposition and prepare the Brayton Point Mall for offshore wind and d ‘other port-related activities’.

Collins added: “We are delighted that Prysmian Group is bringing great jobs and investment to Somerset by building a high-tech cable factory.

Hakan Ozmen of Prysmian Group, the Italian company that will manufacture submarine cables at Brayton Point for offshore wind projects, signs a deal to purchase 47 acres along with Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and other elected officials.

He said Prysmian’s commitment will help “establish Massachusetts as a hub for offshore wind energy.”

“This is a historic agreement for the area,” Collins said, “and we expect to announce that additional tenants will join Prysmian at the Brayton Point Commerce Center.”

Mayflower Wind has previously said it also plans to establish an operations and maintenance facility at the Borden & Remington Corp industrial site. from Fall River on the Taunton River.

He also said he had reached a preliminary agreement with Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding in Somerset to build a crew transfer vessel.

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