Ørsted Proposes New Rhode Island Offshore Wind Farm to Power State’s Clean Energy Future

(Image credit: Ørsted)

Rhode Island’s offshore wind leader Ørsted announced that it has submitted a proposal for its Starboard Wind project, which would power more than 600,000 homes with renewable energy while delivering new investments that cement the Ocean State’s status as a national leader in the offshore wind industry and emerging Blue Economy. 

Ørsted’s proposed 1,184-megawatt (MW) Starboard Wind project would deliver clean and reliable offshore wind energy at stable and affordable pricing for Rhode Island homeowners and businesses for decades. If selected, Starboard Wind would result in more than $1.1 billion of direct, private investment and expenditure in Rhode Island, which would come on top of Ørsted’s existing investments and commitments in the state.

Ørsted and Eversource are currently constructing Revolution Wind, Rhode Island’s first utility-scale offshore wind farm. Together with Starboard Wind, Ørsted’s projects would satisfy as much as three-quarters of Rhode Island’s electric demand, propelling the state toward its target of 100 percent clean energy by 2033.

“Rhode Island is the birthplace of offshore wind in America, and we’re proud to have built a thriving hub for this new US energy industry with our partners in the Ocean State,” said David Hardy, Group EVP and CEO Americas at Ørsted. “Starboard Wind represents the next chapter in Rhode Island’s offshore wind journey. The project will power the state toward its clean energy goals while driving job creation, community benefits and investments into the state’s ports and infrastructure. We look forward to continuing to build on our highly successful partnership with Rhode Island for many years to come.”

Starboard Wind would create at least 3,800 full-time equivalent positions, nearly all of which would be based in Rhode Island. This includes more than 640 new direct jobs in the state, including 100 new local union construction jobs at ProvPort, where Ørsted has established an industry hub, to support the expanded construction of advanced foundation components as Rhode Island strengthens its position in the US offshore wind supply chain.

In addition to new construction roles, Starboard Wind will directly create jobs across component assembly, operations and maintenance, engineering and other roles, as well as supporting hundreds of other jobs indirectly in Rhode Island by boosting local economic activity. The project would also employ union workers in neighboring New England states, driving regional benefits and collaboration.

Energy affordability and reliability is at the heart of the Starboard Wind proposal. The project will leverage innovative pricing mechanisms that would allow Rhode Island ratepayers to benefit as macroeconomic conditions improve and interest rates decline. Starboard Wind has a cost-benefit ratio of nearly 2:1, meaning that for every dollar invested in the project, Rhode Island will receive nearly double the benefits in jobs and investments, improved energy-system reliability and environmental benefits.

Starboard Wind will deliver crucial port investments that build on Rhode Island’s existing role in the offshore wind industry, while also advancing environmental justice and creating inclusive training and career opportunities for historically marginalized Rhode Islanders.

The project would fund a range of community investments and partnerships. This includes more than $40 million of direct investments in Rhode Island organizations to support the state’s workforce and supplier diversity, inclusive workforce training, innovation and the Blue Economy, higher education and research, environmental justice efforts, and biodiversity.

Ørsted is a longtime leader in Rhode Island’s Blue Economy and is proud to call Rhode Island home to both its co-US headquarters and a regional operations and maintenance hub. Ørsted’s plans for Starboard Wind are earning widespread support from community, business, labor, academic and environmental leaders across Rhode Island.

“For the past decade, Ørsted has been a model corporate citizen in Rhode Island, investing heavily in job training, port infrastructure, and workforce development. Now, as we look to continue our state’s leadership in offshore wind, Ørsted’s Starboard Wind proposal stands apart,” commented Laurie White, President of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce. “We need a proven and trusted partner who can hit the ground running to deliver reliable clean energy for Rhode Islanders, and that is Ørsted.”

Under Governor Dan McKee’s leadership, Rhode Island is building on its position as home to America’s first offshore wind farm, Ørsted’s Block Island Wind Farm, as well as the most ambitious clean energy target in the nation. Onshore construction is underway for the 704 MW Revolution Wind project and offshore construction is expected to start in the months ahead. Revolution Wind will deliver 400 megawatts of clean, affordable offshore wind power to nearly 200,000 Rhode Island homes. The project is expected to be operational in 2025.

Already, Rhode Island has become a leader in developing a homegrown offshore wind supply chain, including a thriving industry hub of nearly 30 companies at Providence CIC, and has begun training the future offshore wind workforce.

As part of Revolution Wind, a joint venture project with Eversource, Ørsted has already:

  • Invested $100 million in a regional offshore wind foundation component manufacturing hub, at ProvPort, where more than 125 local union workers are building Revolution Wind components under a Project Labor Agreement.
  • Partnered with two local shipyards—Blount Boats, in Warren, and Senesco Marine, in Quonset Point—that are building five new crew-transfer vessels to support their Northeast projects.
  • Invested $1 million to establish 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. The partnership establishes the state’s first Global Wind Organization (GWO) training certificate program, at CCRI.
  • Signed first-ever US offshore wind helicopter agreement for new crew helicopters, including a $1.8 million investment in Quonset State Airport where the helicopters will be based.
  • Collaborated with marine services provider Sea Services North America, and its partner fishermen in Rhode Island, to support safe navigation in and around the companies’ Northeast offshore wind farms.

Additional information about Ørsted and Starboard Wind can be found at us.orsted.com/starboard-wind.

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