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Rhode Island Offshore Wind Farm promises local "sweeteners" if their proposal wins

4C Offshore | Chris Anderson
By: Chris Anderson 14/03/2023 C Anderson
Ørsted and Eversource have announced submission of a joint proposal in response to the state’s offshore wind solicitation. The proposed 884-megawatt Revolution Wind 2 (delivering electricity to 500,000 Rhode Island homes) according to the JV represents more than $2 billion in direct economic benefits to Rhode Island’s "blue" and "green" economies. Further, they are stating that this project will involve the creation of hundreds of local jobs and unprecedented investments in port improvements and shipbuilding.

If selected, Revolution Wind 2 besides creating hundreds of jobs it will also deliver crucial port investments that expand Rhode Island’s role in the offshore wind industry, "advance environmental justice" and create inclusive training and career opportunities for historically marginalised Rhode Islanders.

In detail Revolution Wind 2 investments in Rhode Island, include:

Ports:

Significant investments in the state’s existing ports, including $35 million to realize Quonset Development Corporation’s vision for a Regional Offshore Wind Logistics and Operations Hub at Quonset Point.
New, local union jobs to support the expanded construction of advanced foundation components at ProvPort.

Shipbuilding:

Building on the state’s historic shipbuilding capabilities, Revolution Wind 2 will enable the construction of two new crew transfer vessels in Rhode Island to serve Ørsted’s U.S. portfolio, on top of the five already being built by Blount Boats and Senesco Marine as part of our Revolution Wind investments. We’re also planning other shipbuilding investments in Rhode Island to support the industry.

Ørsted Offshore Engineering Hub Center of Excellence:

Ørsted will open a new U.S. Engineering Hub in Rhode Island, creating roughly 75 new local engineering jobs in a state-of-the-art facility that will serve as an Ørsted engineering center of excellence in the U.S.


They have go on to state that together with Ørsted and Eversource’s Revolution Wind – the state’s first utility-scale offshore wind farm – Revolution Wind 2 would help to advance the state’s 100-percent clean energy by 2033 climate goal. Further they state that the carbon emission reductions achieved by Revolution Wind 2 would be the equivalent of taking more than 265,000 cars off New England roads.

“From the ‘starting five’ at America’s first offshore wind farm to the major work already underway for Revolution Wind, we’re proud to be Rhode Island’s trusted offshore wind partner,” said David Hardy, Group EVP and CEO Americas at Ørsted. “We’re ready to deliver even more good-paying jobs and affordable clean energy to the Ocean State, and we’re confident that our new proposal will advance Rhode Island’s climate goals while delivering on the promise of a sustainable economic engine rooted in thriving port facilities and powered by local union labour.”

“We’re answering Rhode Island’s call for more offshore wind energy with a proposal that builds upon the groundwork we’ve laid in the Ocean State with our significant investments in port infrastructure, workforce training and the local supply chain,” said Joe Nolan, Chairman, President and CEO of Eversource Energy. “Our latest proposal harnesses the unmatched combination of our onshore, regional transmission expertise together with Ørsted’s considerable offshore capabilities. We applaud state leaders for their commitment to combatting climate change and delivering a clean-energy future for Rhode Islanders.”

Revolution Wind 2 will also make tens of millions of dollars of direct investments to support Rhode Island’s supply chain and supplier diversity, workforce training, education and research, environmental justice and biodiversity, putting Rhode Islanders front and center.

Revolution Wind

Ørsted and Eversource are currently developing the 704MW Revolution Wind project and are expected to start construction on the project later this year. Revolution Wind will deliver clean, affordable offshore wind power to nearly 200,000 Rhode Island homes. The project is expected to be operational in 2025.

Rhode Island has been developing a homegrown offshore wind supply chain, including an industry hub of nearly 30 companies at Providence CIC, and the state has begun training the future offshore wind workforce. In July 2022, Governor McKee announced Rhode Island’s second competitive offshore wind solicitation. This second solicitation marks additional momentum toward achieving Rhode Island’s 100-percent renewable by 2033 goal and its Act on Climate Act emissions reduction target.

The joint venture between Ørsted, a leading offshore wind energy partner, and Eversource, New England’s largest energy provider, was established in 2016. Through its National Offshore Wind Agreement, the developers committed to its offshore construction would be completed by an American union workforce, emphasising the developers’ commitment to good-paying jobs, workforce training and safety.

As part of Revolution Wind, Ørsted and Eversource have already

Established a regional offshore wind foundation component manufacturing facility at ProvPort, where local union workers are today building advanced foundation components for the developers’ South Fork Wind project

Partnered with two local shipyards – Blount Boats, in Warren, and Senesco Marine, in Quonset Point – to build five new crew-transfer vessels (CTV's) to support their Northeast projects. Construction is underway.

Invested $1 million to establish a training partnership with the Community College of Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, Rhode Island Commerce, the Rhode Island Building and Construction Trades Council and Building Futures. The partnership will establish the state’s first Global Wind Organization (GWO) training certificate program, at CCRI.

Signed a U.S. offshore wind helicopter agreement for new crew helicopters, including a $1.8 million investment in Quonset State Airport where the helicopters will be based

Awarded a contract to Boskalis for the foundation and offshore substations transportation and installation work for Revolution Wind and South Fork Wind , as well as scour protection installation contracts for its Revolution Wind project.

Collaborated with marine services provider Sea Services North America, and its partner fishermen in Rhode Island, to support safe navigation in and around the companies’ Northeast offshore wind farms

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