Gov. Dan McKee in blue hard hat tours Revolution Wind’s onshore construction site at Quonset Point with other Rhode Island community, business and labor leaders on Nov. 16, 2023. (Office of the Governor)
The first utility-scale offshore wind farm serving Rhode Island and Connecticut has passed another major milestone in securing the final approval needed from the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to move the project toward the start of offshore construction.
Onshore construction work is already underway on Revolution Wind’s 704-megawatt wind farm off the coast of Block Island. Offshore construction activities will ramp up in 2024 and the project is expected to be operational in 2025.
Revolution Wind received approval of the project’s Construction and Operations Plan (COP) on Nov. 17 along with a 108-page list of conditions. The plan outlines the project’s 1 nautical mile turbine spacing, requirements on the construction methodology for all work occurring in federal ocean waters, and mitigation measures to protect marine habitats and species.
BOEM’s final approval of the COP follows the agency’s August 2023 issuance of its Record of Decision, which concluded the thorough BOEM-led environmental review of the project.
When completed, the project will deliver 400 megawatts of offshore wind power to Rhode Island and 304 megawatts of the same to Connecticut, powering more than 350,000 homes across the two states.
“This is a significant win for Rhode Island, marking an important milestone in our efforts to advance the state’s clean energy future and grow our already thriving blue economy,” said Gov. Dan McKee in a statement issued Monday.
“Revolution Wind will be essential to advancing the state’s 100% renewable energy standard by 2033 and achieving our Act on Climate objectives. We look forward to seeing offshore construction and installation activity beginning in 2024.”
Revolution Wind will create thousands of direct, indirect, and induced jobs, as well as permanent operations and maintenance jobs across Rhode Island and Connecticut. Roughly 100 local union workers are already involved in the project’s onshore transmission system construction.
As part of Revolution Wind, joint venture partners Ørsted and Eversource have already made several local investments. Revolution Wind components are already being built at a regional offshore wind foundation component manufacturing facility at ProvPort.
Over $100 million in direct investmenti s transforming the State Pier redevelopment project in the Port of New London into a state-of-the-art, heavy-lift marine terminal where turbines will be staged and assembled. Staging and assembly for South Fork Wind is currently underway at the port.
Most recently, Ørsted and Eversource announced a $1 million grant to fund 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.
A $1.25 million grant to UConn Avery Point will support a fisheries research program to study further the relationship between offshore wind farms and marine life.
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