RI: Deepwater Wind to Invest $250M, Create 800+ Jobs
4 Jun, 2018
Governor Gina M. Raimondo and Deepwater Wind CEO Jeff Grybowski announced the Revolution Wind project is expected to create more than 800 direct construction jobs, 50 good-paying, permanent jobs for Rhode Islanders at every skill level and hundreds more indirect jobs.
In addition, Deepwater announced it will invest $250 million locally on the project, including $40 million in investments in Rhode Island ports. This investment will position Rhode Island to be a major construction in the growing American offshore wind industry. Deepwater did not seek and will not receive a penny of state tax incentives or state tax credits to support this project.
"Today, Rhode Island is cementing our place at the center of America's offshore wind industry," said Governor Raimondo. "This renewed partnership with Deepwater Wind will bring hundreds of jobs to our shore and enough clean energy to power hundreds of thousands of homes. The next industrial revolution is in renewable energy. Once again, Rhode Island is leading the way."
"We're keeping our promise to Rhode Island," said Deepwater Wind CEO Jeffrey Grybowski. "We've always known that the Block Island Wind Farm would be just the start of a much bigger opportunity for Rhode Island, and Revolution Wind is exactly what we envisioned. We're proud to make major new investments in our home state and to put hundreds more Rhode Islanders to work building Revolution Wind. Thanks to Governor Raimondo's outstanding leadership, the state that pioneered offshore wind will continue to be an epicenter for this new American industry for years to come."
Governor Raimondo's energy team selected Deepwater Wind for this project last week through an open, collaborative bid review process with Massachusetts. Earlier in her first term, Governor Raimondo set an ambitious goal to procure enough green energy to make Rhode Island's energy system 10 times cleaner and more renewable by 2020. Once fully contracted and approved by the Public Utilities Commission, this project will more than double Rhode Island's existing clean energy portfolio.
"This investment means new good-paying jobs for Rhode Islanders," said Cicilline. "It will help keep long-term energy costs down, while fueling our economy with clean, local power. Instead of drilling for oil off our coastline, as the President has proposed, today we are making it clear that we have a better way forward for our state and our country."
"Today's announcement further solidifies Rhode Island's position as a national leader in offshore wind. This project helps our state improve its energy independence with a proven, clean source of power, while creating jobs and improving our economy," said Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio.
"Providence is quickly moving to the forefront of clean power-generating cities," said Providence Mayor Jorge O. Elorza. "With this project, we are seizing the opportunity to grow our innovation economy, create good jobs and spur investment in the port."
Because of Governor Raimondo's commitment to a clean and renewable future, Rhode Island is the nation's leading state for offshore wind. Deepwater Wind's Block Island Wind Farm - the first offshore wind farm in North America - was completed in 2016 and began supplying energy to Block Island that year. That demonstration project created 300+ good-paying construction jobs.
Revolution Wind is one of at least a dozen planned offshore wind projects in the United States. Upon completion, Revolution Wind will generate enough energy to power more than 200,000 homes across Rhode Island, approximately half the homes in the state.
"Thanks to the tremendous leadership of Governor Raimondo and the first-rate team at Deepwater Wind, offshore wind energy has already meant hundreds of good jobs for local tradesmen and women in Rhode Island," said Michael F. Sabitoni, president of the Rhode Island Building and Construction Trades Council. "This new investment in our ports and in 800 new construction jobs for Revolution Wind will build upon the success of the Block Island Wind Farm in a big way. Our members are ready to get to work on this historic project."
Under Governor Raimondo's leadership, the state has made record investments in job training and education, including job training programs to support and expand the green economy. The Department of Labor and Training's Wind Win Career Pathways Initiative is preparing Rhode Islanders starting in high school for jobs in wind energy. Since 2014, Rhode Island has added more than 5,500 green jobs - an increase of nearly 66 percent.
"Rhode Island continues to lead the nation in pursuit of critically needed offshore wind power," said Curtis Fisher, Northeast regional executive director of the National Wildlife Federation. "Governor Raimondo is rising to the urgency of climate change by harnessing a home-grown clean energy solution that will reduce pollution and create thousands of local jobs. We look forward to continuing our work with Deepwater Wind and state and federal agencies to ensure the highest standards of wildlife protection are in place every step of the way."
"Over two years ago we stood right here to announce Deepwater Wind would be staging their preassembly operations at ProvPort and we were a small part of the history of helping to establish America's first offshore wind farm," said Chris Waterson, general manager, Waterson Terminal Services. "Today, ProvPort is positioned to be larger part of this incredible effort to establish Rhode Island as a leader in renewable energy and offshore wind development."
Since Governor Raimondo has taken office, the state's economy has jumped from #36 in the U.S. to #9. Since the start of the Governor's term, the state's unemployment rate - highest in the nation in 2014 - has been cut by one-third, and the state has created 16,500 new jobs. There are more jobs in Rhode Island right now than ever before.
Deepwater Wind's Revolution Wind project is a next-generation 400-megawatt offshore wind farm with up to 50 offshore wind turbines that will help the State of Rhode Island meet its clean energy goals in an affordable way. Once permits are in-hand, local construction work on Revolution Wind would begin as early as 2020, with the project potentially in operation by 2023. Survey work is already underway at Deepwater Wind's lease area.
The Revolution Wind project will be located in Deepwater Wind's federal lease area, a 256-square-mile area in federal waters roughly midway between Block Island and Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. Deepwater Wind's lease site was the first to be competitively auctioned by the federal government. Deepwater Wind won that competitive auction in 2013. Revolution Wind will be located in the same federal lease area as Deepwater Wind's South Fork Wind Farm, a 90MW project to serve Long Island, New York. The exact location of the turbines within the lease area has not yet been determined. The underwater transmission cable is planned to make landfall at Quonset Point, North Kingstown, Rhode Island, where it will connect with the mainland grid.