BOEM, BSEE Visit Rhode Island to Celebrate Offshore Wind Progress

Revolution Wind is marking the completed construction of the project’s union-built advanced foundation components, the latest milestone for Rhode Island and Connecticut's first large-scale offshore wind farm and the first multi-state offshore wind farm in the nation.

Governor Dan McKee, Elizabeth Klein (Department of the Interior’s US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Director), Kevin M.Sligh, Sr. (US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement Director), community members, and other federal, state, and local officials joined Ørsted and Eversource to highlight the significant progress of Revolution Wind’s offshore construction.

Rhode Island is also welcoming the arrival this week of a first-of-its-kind America-built offshore wind service operations vessel to Rhode Island, the ECO EDISON.

A centerpiece of the region’s blue economy, Ørsted and Eversource’s Revolution Wind is directly creating roughly 1,200 jobs across Rhode Island and Connecticut and accelerating the states’ clean energy sectors with significant investments in workforce development, union partnerships, shipbuilding, and port infrastructure.

More than 125 local Rhode Island union workers recently completed the assembly of Revolution Wind’s advanced foundation components at Ørsted and Eversource’s construction hub at ProvPort. Ørsted and Eversource have invested $100 million in the work at their ProvPort hub, making it the largest offshore wind supply chain investment in Rhode Island’s history.

“Revolution Wind is a win for Rhode Island’s environment and our economy,” said Governor Dan McKee. “We’re excited by the progress of this project which is supporting good-paying jobs and propelling our state toward a stronger blue economy and a more sustainable future.

“I am delighted to participate in today’s event, which highlights the tremendous progress that the Biden-Harris Administration has made, along with our state and industry partners, toward achieving our goal of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy capacity by 2030," added BOEM Director Elizabeth Klein. “Today represents another step forward in providing clean energy jobs and investing in our coastal communities while strengthening America’s energy security.”

2 ECO Edison

ECO Edison. (Image credit: Ørsted)

Once in operation, Revolution Wind will have the capacity to generate 400 megawatts of clean, affordable offshore wind power for Rhode Island and 304 megawatts of the same for Connecticut, enough clean energy to power more than 350,000 homes across both states and bring each closer to reaching their ambitious climate targets.

Since reaching its historic “steel in the water” just one month ago, Revolution Wind’s construction crews have made steady progress installing the project’s turbine foundations offshore. The advanced foundation components made in ProvPort, including platforms, railings, steel ladders, and other key parts, are currently being loaded out for installation at the project site offshore.

Meanwhile, the Ocean State this week welcomed the ECO EDISON, which will be based out of ProvPort during Revolution Wind’s construction. An example of Ørsted’s $20 billion investment in building out an American clean energy industry, this first-ever American-built, owned, and crewed offshore wind service operations vessel will serve as a floating, year-round home base for the offshore wind turbine technicians. These techs—Rhode Islanders among them—will work at sea over the life of the wind farms, servicing and maintaining the wind turbines. The vessel will play an integral part of the operation and maintenance of Ørsted and Eversource’s Northeast projects, using Port of Quonset, Rhode Island, as well as Port Jefferson, New York.

“Rhode Island is the birthplace of American offshore wind, and the state is continuing to harness the true potential of offshore wind to transform its ports, workforce, and economy,” said David Hardy, Group EVP and CEO Americas at Ørsted. “Thanks to our local union and supply-chain partners and our talented construction team, we’re building and delivering Revolution Wind. And it’s only fitting that the Ocean State will host our state-of-the-art, American-made service vessel, the ECO EDISON, during the construction of this historic project for New England.

“Our commitment to working hand in hand with local union labor is evidenced not just as the foundation components work completed at ProvPort, but also in the work underway for the onshore transmission system,” said Bill Quinlan, President of Transmission and Offshore Wind Projects for Eversource Energy. “We’re proud to bring well-paying union jobs to Rhode Islanders as we advance a project so important to the state’s energy future.

3 Visitors on ECO Edison

(Image credit: Revolution Wind)

“This marks yet another milestone in building clean, American offshore energy resources,” said BSEE Director Kevin Sligh. “BSEE is committed to enforcing worker safety and environmental protection as we strive to achieve our clean energy goals through offshore renewable energy. This project is a prime example of how we can achieve these milestones using American resources and American workers.”

Revolution Wind’s offshore construction phase is powered by hundreds of union workers, three Northeast ports, and a variety of vessels—all supporting work to install the wind farm’s foundations, two offshore substations, inter-array and export cables, and wind turbines. All the work is done according to Revolution Wind’s local, state, and federal approvals.

During the offshore construction period, construction and transport barges, cable installation vessels, tugboats, supply and support vessels, and protected species observer monitor vessels will be active at the offshore site. Vessel operators, engineers, welders, scientists, and dozens of others are involved in this operation. Meanwhile, onshore construction continues in North Kingstown, R.I., on the project’s transmission system.

The Revolution Wind project site, roughly 15 miles south of the Rhode Island coast and 32 miles southeast of the Connecticut coast, is adjacent to Ørsted and Eversource’s South Fork Wind, America’s first utility-scale offshore wind farm. Revolution Wind is expected to be in operation in 2025.

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