President Biden picks Brayton Point site for major climate change speech

Prysmian Group welcomed U.S. President Joe Biden on July 20, 2022 to the site of its future submarine power cables plant in Brayton Point, Massachusetts, where it is investing $200 million to support the development of wind power as part of the U.S. energy transition.

At Brayton Point, Prysmian Group will build a high-tech manufacturing hub to make submarine inter-array and export cables up to 275 kV AC or 525 kV DC, which are needed to connect offshore wind farms to the mainland power grids for several projects already awarded to Prysmian.

Biden used his visit to Brayton Point to lay out new measures to combat climate change, which he called “literally a clear and present danger,” in a live press conference from Brayton Point. “This is an emergency, and I will look at it that way.”

Until five years ago, Brayton Point was the site of a towering fifty-year-old power plant with a cooling tower 500 feet high, the largest of its kind in New England, which could power one in five Massachusetts homes and businesses. It was closed as part of an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to the climate emergency.

“Today, Brayton is on the frontier of clean energy in America,” said Biden. “On this site, they’ll manufacture 248 miles of high-tech, heavy-duty cables. Those specialized, subsea cables are necessary to tie offshore wind farms to the existing grid. Manufacturing these cables will mean good-paying jobs for 250 workers — as many workers as the old power plant had at its peak.”

These cables will be used to deliver power from several new offshore wind farms, which are vital to President Biden’s goal of installing 30 GW in offshore wind power by 2030 to achieve the energy transition from fossil fuels to renewable sources.

“I’m also proud to point out that my administration approved the first commercial project for offshore wind in America, which is being constructed by Vineyard Wind,” said Biden.

Prysmian Group is supplying cables for this project.

Prysmian Group has a growing order book in the U.S. wind market. In addition to the Vineyard Wind 1 offshore wind farm cabling project already underway, Prysmian’s order book includes the €900 million Commonwealth Wind and Park City projects awarded by Vineyard Wind and the €630 million project to link the 2.6 GW Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) wind farm to the mainland grid.

In addition to being a fundamental asset for offshore wind production in the U.S., Prysmian’s investment will play a positive role in the community, developing Brayton Point into a strategic knowledge and production center supporting the sustainable development of this area, and creating new quality jobs and opportunities. The plant will also have an R&D facility with a high-voltage test lab, which will be the first of its kind in the United States.

“We are very proud to welcome President Biden; this visit highlights our role in supporting the energy transition in the U.S. market. We are committed to making all our resources and global expertise available to support the development of crucial cable connections for offshore wind energy use,” said Hakan Ozmen, EVP Projects Business Prysmian Group, who welcomed President Biden together with Andrea Pirondini, CEO of Prysmian North America.