NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. — Revolution Wind, the renewable energy venture between Connecticut-based power company Eversource and Denmark-based power company Orsted – the world’s leading developer of offshore wind projects – that aims to create a wind farm 15 miles south of the Rhode Island coast, held two virtual seminars last Wednesday and Thursday to give people a look at the project and the opportunity to ask questions about it.
The wind farm would produce 704 megawatts of energy, 400 of which will be sent to Rhode Island via two 46-mile underground transmission cables to a new substation set to be constructed in the Quonset Business Park. The substation would connect to National Grid’s existing Davisville Substation before being spread out across the state grid. Work on it could begin as early as 2023, and it is projected to power over 350,000 households in Rhode Island and Connecticut. The project is currently going through a municipal, state and federal permit process through a variety of agencies and would play a large role in Gov. Gina Raimondo’s Executive Order committing Rhode Island to relying 100 percent on renewable energy by 2030.
“Rhode Island has the most ambitious power goals in the country,” Kellen Ingalls, Orsted Project Development Director for Revolution Wind, said. “Revolution Wind will help them meet that goal.”
Ahead of the virtual presentation, held via Zoom, attendees entered a virtual breakout room which included handouts and interactive sheets featuring basic information on the project, its timeline, and safety measures to be put in place during and following construction of the 100-turbine wind farm.
For the presentation, Maija Benjamins, Eversource Manager of Siting for New England, read over a slideshow explaining the project, how it works, their goals and the next steps.
The wind farm itself will be built in federal waters approximately 15 miles south of Rhode Island, 12 miles southwest of Martha’s Vineyard and 34 miles southeast of Connecticut and will consist of up to 100 wind turbines arranged in a one-by-one nautical mile wind with the ability to withstand a “500-year” hurricane wind burst and wave conditions, according to the presentation.
The power generated by the wind turbines will then be sent through a system of submarine cables to an offshore substation before traveling to North Kingstown via the two 46-mile cables to connect it to the Davisville Substation. Revolution Wind is expected to deliver 704 megawatts of power, with 400 megawatts going to Rhode Island and 304 megawatts to Connecticut. Revolution Wind said they expect the power generated by the wind farm to displace at least one million metric tons of carbon pollution.
According to the presentation, Revolution Wind expects the project to create over 1,200 construction jobs between the two states, in addition to the creation of thousands of indirect and induced jobs created to support the project’s work and. Two companies have committed to investing $40 million in port infrastructure within the Ocean State.
The group said they’ve been listening to the questions and concerns of a variety of people, businesses, Native American tribes, fishers, environmental groups and government agencies to ensure the project works soundly, and are in the process of applying for permits from a variety of agencies, including the Town of North Kingstown, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), the US Army Corp. of Engineers, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Defense, NOAA Fisheries and the US Fish and Wildlife Service, with the hope of having all permits approved by January 2023 and having the wind farm operational by the end of 2023.
Following the seminar, attendees were encouraged to ask questions during a Q&A portion and were given further time to explore the virtual breakout room, which is still available on their website, along with the slide presentation.
For more information on Revolution Wind, visit their website revolution-wind.com.