The 704-megawatt (MW) Revolution Wind project being jointly developed by Ørsted and Eversource offshore Rhode Island has been approved by the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), becoming the fourth commercial-scale wind farm approved by the Biden administration.
The record of decision for the project, which includes plans for 65 wind turbines and two offshore substations, was announced Aug. 22 as the U.S. continues its push toward deploying 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind capacity by 2030.
“I am more confident than ever that we will meet it,” Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said of the goal. “Together with industry, labor and partners from coast to coast, we are building an entirely new industry off the east and west and Gulf coasts.”
Developers aim to begin full operations at Revolution Wind by 2025.
Located about 15 miles off Rhode Island’s coast, Revolution Wind will produce 304 MW of clean power for Connecticut and 400 MW for Rhode Island, providing enough electricity to power more than 350,000 homes, developers have said.
“With the federal Record of Decision, we now advance Revolution Wind to the construction phase, bringing good-paying jobs to hundreds of local union construction workers, keeping local ports busy with assembly and marshaling activities and further growing the local supply chain,” said David Hardy, group executive vice president and CEO Americas for Ørsted. “We’re excited to get to work building this important project.”
Onshore construction activities are expected to begin within weeks with offshore construction ramping up in 2024, Revolution Wind said. An estimated 1,200 local jobs are expected to be created during the project’s construction phase.
In July, plans for Ørsted’s 1.1-GW Ocean Wind 1 project offshore New Jersey were approved by BOEM. The wind farm, which will feature up to 98 wind turbines and up to three offshore stations, will produce enough electricity to power more than 380,000 homes.
Other offshore wind projects approved include Vineyard Wind project offshore Massachusetts and the South Fork Wind project offshore Rhode Island.
“With today’s milestone, BOEM remains on track to complete reviews of at least 16 offshore wind project plans by 2025, representing more than 27 gigawatts of clean energy,” the agency said.
Revolution Wind’s approval comes about a week before the U.S. holds its first offshore wind lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico, potentially adding renewables to a region most known for oil and gas production.
Wind developers may bid Aug. 29 on areas that include 102,480 acres offshore Lake Charles, Louisiana; 102,480 acres offshore Galveston, Texas; and another 96,786 acres also offshore Galveston. Combined, the acreage could generate about 3.7 GW of electricity and power nearly 1.3 million homes, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
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