Posted June 8, 2020
Officials envision offshore wind industry tenants shipping to Long Island
BETHLEHEM — Plans to expand the Port of Albany by 80 acres to the south into the town of Bethlehem received a boost last week when the town planning board agreed to accept the State Environmental Quality Review or SEQR survey for the project.
Now port officials need to submit a site plan with names of specific tenants.
“This is a big step,” Bethlehem Planning Director Robert Leslie said of the acceptance. It amounts to the town’s agreement with the port’s findings of the environmental impacts and how to mitigate them in order to construct the expansion.
One of the next steps will also center on where a proposed building would go on the site.
Port officials believe the expansion could play a role in New York state’s push to develop wind energy, especially off the coast of Long Island.
The enlarged port area is envisioned as housing an industrial facility that could store or help prepare parts that go into offshore wind turbines.
From the site located on the Hudson River, these parts could be shipped in and out of the Capital Region relatively easily due to the port.
Megan Daly, the port’s director of economic development & procurement, said they are currently looking for tenants.
“The Port team is working with a number of prospective business tenants, all from the offshore wind industry,” she said.
Some remediation of the site will be needed, including a cleanup of fly ash from the days when a nearby power plant was burning coal, said Leslie. They also will have to develop specific plans for dredging part of the Hudson River in order to accommodate wharf space.
The expansion should increase the port’s overall size by 25 percent. The port is in the South End of Albany, just north of Bethlehem.