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Schumer, A Long-Time Advocate For The Port of Albany, Called Transportation Secretary Buttigieg Directly To Advocate For The Funding Multiple Times

Senator Says Port of Albany Project Will Be One Of The Most Significant Job-Creating And Green-Energy Economic Development Projects in Capital Region’s History  

Schumer: $29.5M Will Be The Wind In The Port Of Albany’s Sails & Blow New Life Into Albany Economy & Our Fight Against Climate Change 

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer today announced that – following his direct advocacy to the USDOT – the Port of Albany Offshore Wind Tower Manufacturing Project was awarded $29.5 million through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) Port Infrastructure Development Grant program.

Schumer a longtime advocate for the Port of Albany’s revitalization, made direct calls to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg multiple times to urge approval of this transformative funding for the Capital Region. Schumer said the project will be one of the first large-scale offshore wind tower manufacturing facilities in the U.S. and is expected to create an estimated 500 construction jobs and 550 direct and full-time new manufacturing and support jobs.

“The Port of Albany Offshore Wind Manufacturing Project will be one of the most significant job-creating, renewable-energy economic development projects in the Capital Region’s history. I made it clear to Secretary Buttigieg that Albany has all of the right ingredients to be one of the nation’s first large-scale offshore wind tower manufacturing facility.  I am proud to have secured this massive $29.5 million federal investment to help the Port of Albany reach new heights, boost the region’s local economy, and blow a gust of new life into our fight against climate change,” said Senator Schumer. “This project is a true win-win-win that will create hundreds of good-paying union jobs, boost New York’s clean-energy manufacturing sector, all while combatting climate change in big, bold ways. Albany has the wind at its back with this announcement, and the future looks very bright.”

Rich Hendrick, CEO of the Port of Albany, said, “This funding comes at a pivotal time for the Port of Albany’s offshore wind project and would not be possible without the strong support from Senator Schumer.  This funding will support building the infrastructure necessary to support the type of heavy cargo that will be manufactured by our offshore wind partners. The project will bring hundreds of jobs to the Capital Region and add to the Port’s significant contributions to the Capital Region economy.  Offshore wind will play an important role in managing climate change, transforming energy production and reducing harmful emissions.  The Port of Albany is excited to play a part in this critical industry and looks forward to working with our surrounding community on this important project. We thank Senator Schumer and Secretary Buttigieg for their support and commitment to getting this done.”

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said, “I am so thankful to Senator Schumer for securing this $29.5 million grant - funding that is vital to ensuring the nation’s first offshore wind manufacturing facility opens at the Port of Albany as soon as possible. I will continue to work closely with Senator Schumer to create a workforce training center in the South End because we both agree our residents who live near the Port of Albany should have every opportunity to secure the good-paying careers that will be created through this transformative investment.”

Albany County Executive Dan McCoy said, "This 29 1/2 million dollar commitment to offshore wind power at the Port of Albany is another investment that will benefit not only the county and our state but help reduce our carbon footprint and continue to make New York a leader in the production of renewable energy across the country. This project will also be responsible for 150 wind towers built each year and will bring with it 500 construction jobs and 300 long-term, high skilled jobs."

Schumer said the Port of Albany manufacturing facility will have the fabrication and assembly capabilities to support the projects being developed in and off the coast of New York State as well as many future national offshore wind projects. Schumer explained that currently many of the offshore wind tower components are only available outside of the U.S. making this project critical in strengthening the U.S. domestic clean energy supply chain. The senator said that this recently secured funding would ensure Upstate New York becomes the national hub for new wind technology manufacturing.

Schumer also said that this increased investment for the Port of Albany would significantly boost its competitiveness in expanding and attracting major employers like General Electric (GE) to manufacture wind turbines in Upstate New York. Earlier this year, Senator Schumer reached out directly to GE CEO, H. Lawrence Culp Jr. to express his support for GE expanding in the region to manufacture their new Haliade-X wind turbines in New York, specifically mentioning the Port of Albany as a key asset for building up the Capital region as a national hub for wind turbine manufacturing.

Senator Schumer has a long history fighting to help revitalize the Port of Albany. In 2016, Schumer secured $17.6 million for the Port of Albany through the USDOT Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant. This funding supported a complete overhaul of the Port of Albany including reconstructing the entire outdoor maritime terminal, building a new warehouse, expanding the wharf, and significantly improving the port roadways.  Schumer then personally visited the Port of Albany in 2019 to see the progress and continue his commitment to the Port of Albany’s economic expansion.

In addition to the recently announced funding, Schumer said the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act (IIJA) that was recently signed into law, provides more than $17 billion for port and waterway infrastructure, including $2.25 billion over five years for the DOT’s Port Infrastructure Development Program. Schumer also secured $7.5 billion over five years for the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grants and $3.2 billion over five years for the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) Grant Program, both of which can support port infrastructure development, and IIJA added port infrastructure as an eligible use of the Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) program.

A copy of Schumer’s original letter of support to Secretary Buttigieg appears below:

Dear Secretary Buttigieg,

I am pleased to write in support of the application submitted by the Port of Albany to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s 2021 Port Infrastructure Development Program grant (PIDP) to support the development of the United States’ first offshore wind tower manufacturing facility at the Port of Albany that is a partnership with Equinor and Marmen/Welcon. The Offshore Wind Tower Manufacturing Port Project grant application outlines the planned investment, substantial positive renewable energy and community benefits, as well as new job creation and major local investment.

The Port of Albany manufacturing facility will have the fabrication and assembly capabilities to support the projects being developed in New York State as well as many future national and regional offshore wind projects. Currently, the offshore wind tower components are only available outside of the U.S. The entire construction project is planned for more than $350 million investment including investment from Port, private and state of New York sources.

This project will create 550 jobs and likely to generate important additional economic benefits in New York State. It is expected that hundreds of construction jobs will be created to develop the site and an additional level of indirect jobs that are spurred by the planned manufacturing and maritime activities. Further, it is expected that this facility will generate substantial annual regional investments in direct payroll and procurement expenditures. This is precisely how we move the economy ahead with projects that invest in the green economy and have local benefits.

The PIDP funds are vital to reducing project risk and maximizing optionality during this unusually fluctuating international economic market. Energizing a green economy is key to our future. I applaud the Port of Albany for its foresight, and sincerely hope the application meets with your approval.

Thank you for your consideration.