Cape Wind executives met with Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee about possibly using Ocean State ports – instead of New Bedford – as a construction staging area for the wind farm planned for Nantucket Sound.
Cape Wind spokesman Mark Rodgers said it’s an “open question” whether a state-funded terminal planned for New Bedford will be ready in time. The facility – originally expected to cost $35 million, but now reportedly pegged at nearly $100 million – would create 300 constructions jobs.
Work has not yet started on the New Bedford terminal, and it is estimated to take 18 to 20 months to build, said Ed Washburn, New Bedford’s deputy port director. A permit from the Environmental Protection Agency has taken longer than expected. He said it is expected in the coming weeks, and construction could start soon after that.
Cape Wind has been assessing ports at Quonset in North Kingstown, R.I., and in Providence. Rodgers said the phase of construction that will require a port is expected to start in 2014. Quonset could take on at least some of the work Cape Wind had planned to do in New Bedford, he said.
“An open question is whether it will be available for everything, or if the work is done in stages,” he said. “We’re keeping our options open. We’d like to use New Bedford to the greatest extent we can, but it depends on their availability.”
Cape Wind has secured regulatory approvals for the $2.5 billion project but is still fending off lawsuits.
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