Ørsted and Eversource to Fund Rhode Island Offshore Wind Training

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By The Maritime Executive 04-24-2019 05:17:27

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 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. The companies will also invest an additional $1.5 million, designated to the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation and the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, to support the development of Rhode Island's offshore wind supply chain and workforce. 

Rhode Island Governor Gina M. Raimondo has praised the move, saying: "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."

If approved, the 400MW 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 10-fold by the end of 2020. The Revolution Wind project will be located in federal waters approximately 15 miles southeast of the New England coast. Construction is expected to commence next year, and the project could be operational by 2023.

The project – originally developed by Providence-based Deepwater Wind, which has since been acquired by global offshore wind leader Ørsted – 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.