Governor announces $4.5 million investment by Ørsted, Eversource to grow Rhode Island’s offshore wind workforce and supply chain
University of Rhode Island to partner with organizations to address needs of offshore renewable energy industry
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (April 24, 2019) — Governor Gina M. Raimondo announced today that Ørsted US Offshore Wind and Eversource — the team behind the Revolution Wind project — have pledged $4.5 million to support offshore wind education and supply chain development for the growing offshore wind industry in Rhode Island.
“Ørsted and Eversource’s commitments, as part of their Revolution Wind offshore wind farm, will expand our efforts already underway to build our talent pool and provide opportunities for college students in Rhode Island to study for a career in offshore wind,” said Governor Raimondo. “When they are ready to work, we will have plenty of jobs for them in our growing offshore wind supply chain, right here in Rhode Island.”
Ørsted and Eversource have committed to invest $4.5 million locally, with a $3 million investment in higher education around offshore wind programs led by the University of Rhode Island, a national leader in ocean engineering, environmental science and other marine-related fields. URI will partner with other institutions in the state to support workforce development needs, develop educational curricula, and provide a depth of academic and research expertise.
“With this announcement, URI builds upon its existing strengths as a leading national center for delivering scientifically sound and practical multi-disciplinary solutions regarding the world’s urgent need for offshore renewable energy,” said URI President David M. Dooley.
Katharine H. Flynn, executive director of the URI Business Engagement Center, added, “Rhode Island is the first state in the nation to develop an offshore wind farm and we’ve become a leader in offshore renewable energy. Our University research capabilities, coupled with our business relationships — fostered through the University’s Business Engagement Center and our Coastal Resources Center — uniquely positions us to contribute to the growth and expansion of this vital industry.”
In February, National Grid filed its proposed power-purchase contract with Ørsted and Eversource for the 400-megawatt (MW) Revolution Wind offshore wind farm with the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission for review. Ørsted and Eversource’s investments are subject to the PUC’s decision on the project, which is expected by June 1, and final permitting of the project by state and federal agencies.
If approved, Revolution Wind will generate approximately one-quarter of all the electricity used by Rhode Islanders annually and will help increase the state’s clean energy portfolio ten-fold by the end of 2020. Once permits are in-hand, local construction work on Revolution Wind could begin as early as next year, with the project potentially in operation by 2023. The Revolution Wind project will be located in federal waters approximately 15 miles southeast of the New England coast.
For the complete original press release issued by the Governor’s Office, click here.