HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - The Connecticut Port Authority has approved plans to upgrade the state pier in New London, transforming it into a staging area for the offshore wind industry. The $157 million public-private project was approved unanimously on Tuesday. Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont noted the process has taken longer than expected because of the multiple entities involved. But he said it was worth the wait, predicting Connecticut may become the Saudi Arabia of wind power. The improvements will allow developers to use the pier to deploy equipment for the construction of wind turbines off Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey.