Hundreds of new jobs expected in Wellsville
By John Anderson, 10/8/21
As the sun broke the morning fog in Wellsville, New York State Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin announced a project that will bring hundreds of jobs to Wellsville with a reportedly $200 million investment.
The Wellsville Sun has learned a contract was awarded to Ljungstrom Arvos Custom Manufacturing Solutions of Wellsville (the former Air Preheater) for an off-shore windmill project. The state (NYSERDA) awarded the contract to Equinor Wind US LLC for its 816 megawatt Empire Wind Project and Sunrise Wind LLC (a joint venture of Ørsted A/S and Eversource Energy) for its “880 megawatt Sunrise Wind Project to deliver clean, affordable, renewable energy to New Yorkers.”
New York State Lt. Governor Brian Benjamin said, “Today, I am announcing the largest offshore wind contract awarded in New York State.”
Wellsville will see a large portion of that contract and Wellsville Mayor Randy Shayler credits the management of Ljungstrom/Arvos as well as the current workforce and potential workforce in the county. The state confirmed the new jobs at Ljungstrom will be to fabricate the steel parts on the suspended platforms and cages to be shipped to Ports of Coeymans.
“I’m sure they looked at the history of Air Preheater and they looked at the entire operation … they looked at Ljungstrom and they had a comfort level there and with the workforce in Allegany County,” Shayler said. “It’s an awfully good workforce and a qualified workforce.”
Shayler said state contracts have moved away from coal and toward renewable energy. He said Ljungstrom Arvos made the adjustment.
“This is exciting news for the Wellsville community,” Shayler said. “I think the management of Ljungstrom/Arvos ought to be commended for rebranding the company from a coal economy to a renewable energy economy.”
The pieces in place also involve Alfred State, as students are not only learning welding and other trades, but they will be trained specifically for this project. As a result of Alfred State working with State Sen. Charles Schumer, Shayler sees this as long-term jobs and a boost for the economy.
“I see this as being very long term because they just entered into the agreement with Alfred State that Sen. Schumer got involved in to train welders,” Shayler said. “They are looking to train a workforce and get them specifically trained for their product line.
“I see this, they are going to make a significant investment in plant and facilities,” Shayler continued. “I am certain, based on their long-term projections of their business plans — and they are pretty sharp people — I would give them credit for knowing what they are doing.”
Today’s announcement by Benjamin was held south of Albany at the Port of Coeymans. However, the project has such a large impact on Wellsville and Allegany County, Schumer is expected in Wellsville next week to make more detailed announcements on the investments and jobs.
NYSERDA officials said, “In the State’s second comprehensive offshore wind procurement, NYSERDA has selected two projects for contract negotiation: Empire Wind 2 and Beacon Wind of Equinor Wind US LLC. Together, these projects total nearly 2,500 megawatts, enough to power 1.3 million homes.
“With these awards, New York now has five offshore wind projects in active development – the largest offshore wind pipeline in the nation totaling more than 4,300 megawatts and representing nearly 50 percent of the capacity needed to meet New York’s nation-leading offshore wind goal of 9,000 megawatts by 2035,” officials added.
NYSERDA outlined the project, saying, “Empire Wind 2 and Beacon Wind will bring tremendous economic benefit to New Yorkers. Together with Empire Wind 1 and Sunrise Wind, the awarded projects from NYSERDA’s inaugural solicitation, the projects will:
- Power more than 2.4 million New York homes.
- Bring a combined economic impact of $12.1 billion to upstate, downstate, and Long Island.
- Invest approximately $730 million in combined private and public funds in long-term port facilities and cutting-edge technologies, including the nation’s first offshore wind tower manufacturing plant at the Port of Albany.
- Support more than 6,800 jobs in project development, component manufacturing, installation, and operations and maintenance.
- Directly offer well-paying careers with salaries averaging approximately $100,000 per year.
- Deliver significant economic benefits to disadvantaged communities and support the responsible retirement of aging fossil-fuel power plants near key environmental justice communities.”
In Wellsville, the website says, “LJUNGSTRÖM, a division of ARVOS Group, is a global technology and innovation leader, specializing in full life-cycle services and solutions for thermal power plants and industrial facilities. With a history of advances in heat recovery spanning 95 years, LJUNGSTRÖM is redefining clean thermal power technologies through its depth of customer and technical knowledge, worldwide.”
As for the project, state officials said they are hoping to have work completed locally in place by 2026 and 2028. The windmills produced in Wellsville would be located over 60 miles east of Montauk Point.
The Equinor Wind Project at a Glance:
– 1,260 megawatts entering commercial operation in late 2026. Locally produced renewable energy from the New York Bight with planned delivery to Nassau County at the Barrett Substation in Oceanside, building out the back half of Equinor’s New York Bight lease area, with planned delivery of Empire Wind 1 to the Gowanus substation in Brooklyn. Use of gravity-based foundations, with fabrication proposed at the Port of Coeymans, bringing long-term investments in New York-sourced equipment, tools, supplies and labor to the State’s Capital Region and utilizing “quiet” foundation technologies to minimize environmental impacts such as risks to fish and wildlife through the reduction of pile-driving noise.