Rhode Island made history in 2016 by completing America’s first offshore wind power project, the Block Island Wind Farm. Five turbines provide clean energy to 17,000 homes and give state and federal decision-makers the tangible opportunity to understand the advanced and accessible nature of offshore wind technology.
The developer, Ørsted, (formerly Deepwater Wind), holds leases for a much larger area far offshore that can help reach the utility-scale resource available to the Ocean State – enough for 4.7 million homes! Part of that area will house Revolution Wind – a 400 megawatt wind farm currently under development – that will provide approximately one-quarter of Rhode Island’s electricity!
- October 2020: Governor Gina Raimondo announced that a request for proposals for 600 megawatts of offshore wind energy is on track to be ready for the marketplace early 2021! Learn more.
- August 2019: The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation approved $900 million in tax credits for Boston Energy over 10 years. The offshore wind service company committed to bringing at least 52 full-time jobs that will be kept in Rhode Island for 12 years. Learn more.
- August 2019: RI Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) partnered with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) to finance pilot studies for regional fisheries research and monitoring for Southern New England in relation to the MA and RI/MA wind energy areas. The Request for Proposals is now open until October 17, 2019! Learn more.
- June 2019: GEV Wind Power US, a turbine blade service company, announces it will establish a headquarters in Quonset after the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation approved financial incentives for the company amounting to $1.9 million. It is expected to bring 125 new jobs and an almost $14 million increase to RI’s annual GDP. Learn more.
- May 2019: The RI Public Utilities Commission approved the power purchase deal between National Grid and the owners of Revolution Wind. The deal included a commitment to invest $40 million in Rhode Island port improvements, making Prov Port a construction hub for the project and the port at Quonset a long-term operations center.
- April 2019: The offshore wind industry pledged $4.5 million to support education for high-school and college students. Learn more.
- February 2019: The contract between National Grid and Ørsted, the developer of Rhode Island’s proposed 400-megawatt offshore wind farm, Revolution Wind, was filed with the RI Public Utilities Commission. Learn more.
- February 2019: Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) determined Vineyard Wind’s 800 MW offshore wind farm was consistent with state policies. Learn more.
- February 2019: Rhode Island Fishermen’s Advisory Board voted in favor of Vineyard Wind’s $4.2 million compensation package for direct impacts of the 84-turbine wind farm in the Rhode Island sound. The plan also included a $12.5 million trust that would be set up over five years for additional costs to fishermen. Learn more.
- September 2018: GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc. (GZA), a multi-disciplinary firm providing geotechnical, environmental, ecological, water, and construction management services, announced that it has begun a multi-million dollar offshore geotechnical engineering program for Deepwater Wind in Rhode Island Sound. Learn more.
- August 2018: RI launches the first of its kind program, Wind Win RI, to begin in the Fall at North Kingston High School and Rocky Hill School in East Greenwich to train and award high school graduates with an offshore wind energy certificate. Middle-school kids will be introduced to the industry through the national program Kid Wind. Learn more.
- May 2018: Rhode Island announced that it will purchase 400 MW of offshore wind power from Deepwater Wind! Once operating, the project will generate approximately one-quarter of Rhode Islander’s electricity! The contract now needs to be approved by the RI Public Utilities Commission. Learn more.
- December 2016: The Block Island Wind Farm began generating power, providing the nation’s fist complete story of offshore wind power development. The project demonstrates the importance of extensive community engagement, consideration for wildlife, and local job creation. NWF was proud to endorse the project, following the developer’s willingness to employ the high standards of wildlife protection we and our partners advocate for – voluntarily exceeding the precautions they are legally required to take.
We followed the Block Island Wind Farm story every step of the way. Check out any of our blogs below for a closer look at the many stages of getting the project up and running:
8/5/16 – America’s Next Energy Chapter Has Begun!
8/12/15 – Offshore Wind Powers Local Jobs
- July 2013: Deepwater Wind won the country’s first ever federal offshore wind lease auction, acquiring an area nine miles from the coast of Massachusetts. The company subsequently signed a landmark agreement with NWF and other environmental organizations to protect endangered whales as their projects move forward in this area. Learn more.
Are you a Rhode Islander who would like offshore wind to power the Ocean State?
- For maps and the latest updates on the federal offshore wind leasing and permitting process off the coast of Rhode Island, visit the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management‘s Rhode Island page.