New R.I. wind project expected to create 800 construction jobs, 50 permanent jobs

PROVIDENCE – The Revolution Wind project is expected to create 50 permanent jobs for Rhode Island and 800 direct construction jobs, Gov. Gina M. Raimondo and Deepwater Wind LLC CEO Jeffrey Grybowski announced Wednesday.

Deepwater also announced that it will invest $250 million locally, including $40 million in Rhode Island port improvement at Quonset Point and the Port of Providence. The company did not specify what the port investments will be used for specifically.

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The project will require large staging areas and expanded port capacity. Grybowski previously told PBN that, “For all of [Deepwater Wind] projects we will use multiple ports,” due to the size of wind turbine components and the small size of ports in the region.

In 2016, a state bond was approved to provide $70 million to the two ports, $20 million to Port of Providence to expand its land-based footprint and $50 million for Quonset modernization.

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Rhode Island announced the selection of Deepwater Wind for a new Rhode Island wind farm after Massachusetts chose a different project, Vineyard Wind, that was submitted in response to the Bay State’s requests for proposals for a wind farm project. The RFP had mentioned in footnotes that other states in the area were eligible to participate in the process, referencing the potential of Rhode Island’s involvement. Massachusetts had first selection in the process.

The Revolution Wind project is a 400-megawatt offshore wind farm with up to 50 wind turbines. Construction will begin as soon as 2020, with the potential to begin operation in 2023. The transmission cable is planned to make landfall at Quonset Point, North Kingstown, where it will connect with the mainland grid.

“Today, Rhode Island is cementing our place at the center of America’s offshore wind industry,” stated Raimondo Wednesday. “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.”

The project still requires federal approval and will be reviewed by the state Public Utilities Commission. Deepwater also still needs to negotiate rates with National Grid for electricity generated at the new wind farm.

Chris Bergenheim is the PBN web editor.