A contract for the 400-MW Revolution Wind offshore wind farm has been filed with the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission (PUC), a major step forward in the goal to increase the state’s clean energy portfolio ten-fold by the end of 2020. Once constructed, the project will generate approximately one-quarter of all the electricity used by Rhode Islanders annually.
“When we built the Block Island wind farm, we positioned Rhode Island as the leader in a brand-new U.S. offshore wind industry,” said Governor Gina M. Raimondo. “Other states watched us and followed our example. Today I’m pleased to announce that the proposed Revolution Wind offshore wind farm, more than 13 times the size of the Block Island project, offers electricity at prices far lower than we anticipated. This is a triple-win for our state because it provides affordable, clean energy for Rhode Islanders, adds jobs to our economy, and dramatically reduces carbon emissions.”
The contract between National Grid and offshore wind developer Ørsted US Offshore Wind will support development of a 400-MW offshore wind farm located in federal waters at least 15 miles from the Rhode Island shoreline. The project – originally developed by Providence-based Deepwater Wind – is expected to create more than 800 direct construction jobs and 50 permanent jobs for Rhode Islanders at every skill level. Hundreds more jobs will be supported indirectly as the region’s burgeoning offshore wind industry takes off.
Once operational, Revolution Wind will be large enough to power more than 270,000 Rhode Island homes annually.
“We’re keeping our promise to Rhode Island to bring down the cost of offshore wind in a big way,” said Jeffrey Grybowski, Co-CEO, Ørsted US Offshore Wind. “Revolution Wind will save ratepayers money and help Rhode Island make major progress on its clean energy goals. This is the start of an exciting next chapter for offshore wind in the state that pioneered this new U.S. clean-tech industry.”
“National Grid remains committed to delivering energy to our customers in Rhode Island safely, affordably, and reliably long into the future,” said Tim Horan, President of Rhode Island, National Grid. “Revolution Wind shows our commitment to renewable energy not only in Rhode Island, but across our footprint.”
The real levelized price of electricity generated by the Revolution Wind project will be just over 7 cents per kilowatt hour for twenty (20) years, within one cent of the proposed 800-megawatt Massachusetts Vineyard Wind project. During the contract term, Revolution Wind is anticipated to save Rhode Island consumers millions of dollars in energy costs. In addition, this carbon-free energy resource will produce hundreds of millions of dollars in other economic and environmental benefits for Rhode Island families, businesses, and workers. Ørsted did not seek, and will not receive, state tax incentives to support this project.
Ørsted has committed to invest $250 million locally on the project, including $40 million in investments in Rhode Island ports and funds for higher education, supply chain development and workforce development, with details to be announced in the coming weeks. These investments will position Rhode Island to remain a leader in the growing American offshore wind industry.
Revolution Wind will provide environmental benefits as well. Over the life of the contract, the project will help eliminate millions of tons of carbon dioxide from the electricity sector, offsetting the carbon emitted from more than 100,000 passenger cars each year.
In March 2017, Governor Raimondo set an ambitious goal to accelerate Rhode Island’s adoption of green energy and make the state’s energy system ten-times cleaner by 2020. Revolution Wind was selected through an open and competitive market procurement that attracted both domestic and international project developers. If approved by the PUC, this offshore wind project will more than double Rhode Island’s existing clean energy portfolio. The state’s clean energy progress is updated quarterly and may be viewed here.
Once permits are in-hand, local construction work on Revolution Wind could begin as early as 2020, with the project potentially in operation by 2023. The Revolution Wind project will be located in federal waters south of the New England coast.