Original news was published on 06 November 2019
Authorities at the port of Duluth in Minnesota have reported a record cargoes of wind energy components for 2019, as the final inbound wind energy cargo vessel of the year off-loaded.
In total, the port off-loaded 306,000 freight tons of wind energy cargo in 2019, an increase from the previous record of 302,000 freight tons set in 2008.
“This has been a banner year for wind energy cargo and also for the Clure Public Marine Terminal and Duluth Cargo Connect. And it’s no accident,” Deb DeLuca, executive director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, said.
Midwest wind power demand growing
The Midwest was highlighted by recent HIS Markit report as a focus for growth in operations and maintenance spending for the wind sector.
In particular, Great Plains and upper Midwest states, such as Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas, Illinois, Colorado and Minnesota where annual O&M spending is forecast to increase by U$1.3 billion.
"If you want to get the biggest bang for your buck in terms of the health and climate benefits of renewables, investing in the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes regions will keep populations downwind healthier while also taking important steps to decarbonize," Drew Michanowicz, research fellow at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, said.
The Twin Ports of Duluth, Minnesota and Superior, Wisconsin, collectively known as the Port of Duluth-Superior, handle the highest tonnage of any port on the Great Lakes, and act as a multimodal hub for the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway system.
The twin ports expect to see further growth in breakbulk demand as the scale and roll-out of wind projects steps up over the near term.
“We’ve made more than $25 million in strategic investments to the terminal over the past four years, enhancements that help support the excellent work Duluth Cargo Connect does in handling these oversize wind cargos,” DeLuca commented.
Lamb, president of Duluth Cargo Connect, agreed, adding” We pride ourselves in providing a seamless connection between modes of transportation for our wind energy customers” and adding that the port was “geographically well-situated to support wind farm installations in the Upper Midwest and central Canada.”