Assessment: Offshore wind at NY ports will provide thousands of jobs

The Port of Albany facility is estimated to generate $163 million in tax revenue during construction and its first year of operation. (Courtesy: Port of Albany)

Proposed offshore wind manufacturing facilities at the Capital Region’s major marine ports will bring an influx of jobs by the thousands while adding billions to the local economy, according to an economic impact assessment released today by the Port of Albany and the Port of Coeymans.

The development and operation of proposed facilities at the two ports — Port of Albany and Port of Coeymans — would support up to 10,000 construction-related jobs, create over 3,200 new jobs, and add $1 billion in wages over the course of construction and first year of operations, according to the assessment. These figures include jobs and wages at the project sites, across the supply chain, and throughout the broader regional economy. Additionally, the projects would generate up to $4 billion in total industry spending stemming from initial investment and supply chain spending over the course of construction and first year of operations.

The ports are key to positioning the Capital Region as a domestic hub for offshore wind manufacturing, with both the U.S. lacking capacity to make turbine components and supply chain issues plaguing the industry. Components made in the Capital Region will reduce America’s reliance on imports while ensuring local communities will benefit from an industry that is expected to peak at 18,000 to 23,000 workers in New York state by 2040.

The Port of Albany is building the nation’s first offshore wind tower manufacturing facility; once completed, the 626,000-square-foot complex will annually produce up to 150 towers to support the turbines, which will be floated down the Hudson River.

Meanwhile, the Port of Coeymans is planning to break ground in 2024 on a production, staging,  and transportation site for nacelles, which house the critical components needed to convert wind into clean energy. The Port of Coeymans has also proposed a standalone project to manufacture and transport wind turbine blades. The projects are expected to be completed by 2026 and 2027, respectively, with production ramping up to a maximum of 60 nacelles and 180 blades per year.

Other highlights of the economic impact assessment:

• Earnings created by new jobs at the ports will lead to increased household spending — and demand for workers in other businesses across industries that are impacted by the increased household spending. The health care, social assistance, finance and insurance, accommodation and food services, and retail sectors are projected to get the biggest boost, leading to an additional $525 million in sales throughout construction and first year of operations, as well as 1,040 local jobs and $61 million in annual wages for each year of operations.

• The Port of Albany facility is estimated to generate $163 million in tax revenue during construction and its first year of operation, including $9 million for Albany County and $10 million for the City School District of Albany.

• The Port of Coeymans facility is estimated to generate $232 million in tax revenue through its first year of operation, including $12 million for the county and $12 million for the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Central School District.

These projects will also promote industry diversity. Hundreds of eligible, local serviced-disabled veteran-owned businesses (SDVOBs) and minority- and women-owned business enterprises (MWBEs) will have the opportunity to access contracts estimated worth $71 million during construction and $23 million in the first year of operations of the ports’ offshore wind plants.

“This shows the power ports play in commerce in New York. The coordination on this is exceptionally forward thinking for both renewable energy production as well as domestic supply chain,” said Richard Hendrick, CEO of the Port of Albany.

“Offshore wind manufacturing is an unprecedented opportunity for Albany County and validates the county’s economic strategy focusing on alternative energy and green technology,” said Kevin O’Connor, CEO of Advance Albany County Alliance.

“New York’s ports are essential to enabling the state’s bold carbon emissions reduction goals and economic development initiatives. Our analysis shows that investment in offshore wind can deliver major long-term regional economic benefits. The Port of Albany and the Port of Coeymans reflect an exciting, once-in-a-generation opportunity to build new infrastructure for clean energy, support thousands of new jobs, and spark billions in economic activity,” said Rebecca Karp, Founding Principal and CEO of Karp Strategies.