Orsted A/S and Eversource Energy submit joint wind farm proposal
The state of Rhode Island’s wind farm solicitation is part of a push to hit climate benchmarks. (Photo courtesy of Ørsted Americas)
Familiar names in Rhode Island offshore wind are vying for a contract to bring even more offshore wind energy to the Ocean State.
Orsted A/S and Eversource Energy are proposing an 884-megawatt wind farm off the coast of Block Island, within the same federal lease area as the 100-turbine project they are already developing for Rhode Island and Connecticut. The proposed Revolution Wind 2 project was submitted in response to a competitive solicitation from utility operator Rhode Island Energy seeking to buy up to 1,000 megawatts of offshore wind power.
Rhode Island Energy declined to share any details on other proposals received by the March 13 deadline. The utility operator plans to work with state energy and utility leaders to review proposals and select a bid for negotiation by June, according to a timeline posted in the company website.
The procurement to buy 1,000 megawatts of offshore wind energy for the state was first announced by Gov. Daniel J. McKee in October as the state strives to meet mandatory emissions reductions benchmarks under the 2021 Act on Climate Law.
If selected, Revolution Wind 2 would bring an estimated $2 billion in economic benefits to the state while providing enough energy to power 500,000 homes, according to a statement from Orsted. The Danish developer also owns and operates the Block Island Wind Farm, and is jointly developing the 700-megawatt Revolution Wind project with Eversource Energy, which is expected to be finished in 2025.
Orsted and Eversource leaders touted their industry experience and investments in Rhode Island ports, workforce and supply chain in pitching their new proposal.
““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,” David Hardy, group executive vice president and CEO of the Americas region at Orsted, said in a statement.
Orsted and Eversource previously agreed to spend $40 million in infrastructure upgrades at ProvPort and Quonset Point, including a foundation manufacturing facility at ProvPort, along with partnerships with local shipyards to build five crew-transfer vessels; a $1 million certified wind certificate training program at the Community College of Rhode Island; and a $1.8 million upgrade to Quonset State Airport.
As part of their proposal for Revolution Wind 2, the companies plan to spend another $35 million on Quonset Point port upgrades and build two more crew-transfer vessels in Rhode Island. Orsted will also open an engineering hub in Rhode Island to serve projects across the country, creating 75 new, local jobs.
Whichever bid is selected will require a bevy of other state and federal approvals, including an extensive federal environmental review and permitting process through the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.
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