PROVIDENCE, RI – Governor Dan McKee, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, U.S. Representative Seth Magaziner, and Providence Mayor Brett P. Smiley today joined Ørsted and Eversource, and other local leaders at the developers' ProvPort offshore wind construction hub to celebrate the launch of Revolution Wind's advanced foundation components construction – and the successful completion of South Fork Wind's components.
The work underway at ProvPort alone represents a more than $100 million investment by Ørsted and Eversource in the Ocean State – the largest offshore wind supply chain investment yet in Rhode Island – with local union labor leading this important effort.
"Rhode Island is a national leader in offshore wind, and today marks a significant moment as our state continues to capitalize on one of our state's most abundant natural resources," said Governor McKee. "In addition to assisting us in meeting our emissions reductions target in the Act on Climate, the work underway will also create more jobs, making Rhode Island an economic hub for clean energy."
"This is another big step forward for Rhode Island's offshore wind industry and the blue economy. The drive toward a cleaner energy future is fueling investment, job growth, and economic development in the Ocean State," said U.S. Senator Jack Reed, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee who helped jumpstart Rhode Island's offshore wind industry with a federal earmark that assisted with the siting of the Block Island Wind Farm. "I am glad to see Ørsted and Eversource's significant investments at work here in Rhode Island creating good-paying, high-skilled local jobs and workforce training opportunities, shoring up port infrastructure, and supporting our shipbuilders."
"This new private investment by Ørsted and Eversource reinforces the strategic role of ProvPort's offshore wind hub in the Ocean State's Blue Economy," said U.S. Senator U.S. Sheldon Whitehouse. "I will continue working hard to get more steel in the water and more well-paying union jobs here in Rhode Island."
"Every American deserves clean, affordable electricity and Rhode Island is a leader in the nation's transition to a clean energy economy," said U.S. Representative Seth Magaziner. "Together, we can unleash the potential of offshore wind, create thousands of good-paying, union jobs, lower energy costs, and protect our clean air and climate."
"This is an exciting step forward for Providence as we continue the work to become national leaders in the blue economy," said Providence Mayor Brett P. Smiley. "We have a vested interested in climate resiliency and the workforce to get big projects like this done for our state. This is only the beginning as Providence grows into the world-class city we know it can be."
Ørsted and Eversource are leading the buildout of a homegrown American offshore wind industry. This busy construction hub is growing Rhode Island's thriving blue economy, with the creation of more than 125 local jobs for skilled tradespeople supporting the buildout of Ørsted and Eversource's Northeast offshore wind farms.
"As the home to Ørsted's Block Island Wind Farm – America's first offshore wind farm – Rhode Island is a leader in the United States offshore wind industry," said David Hardy, Group EVP and CEO Americas, Ørsted. "Offshore wind energy puts this state's legacy of maritime, manufacturing and construction expertise to use, building our clean energy future. The Revolution Wind project is the latest addition to Rhode Island's offshore wind story, and we are investing in a new supply chain and facilities like ProvPort to support Rhode Island's offshore wind leadership."
"Rhode Island has long-been a national leader in the fight against climate change, time and again demonstrating the enormous power of clean energy to create new jobs and spread economic opportunity to local communities across the Ocean State," said Joe Nolan, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Eversource Energy. "With today's investment of $100 million, we are proud to continue delivering on our promise to grow the state's blue and green economies and help forge a new, Rhode Island-based supply chain with local union workers at its center."
General contractor Riggs Distler & Company, Inc., is helming the work at the 288-foot long ProvPort assembly hall. In the coming weeks, crews will begin loadout of components for South Fork Wind, on-track to become America's first completed utility-scale offshore wind farm.
"We are extremely proud to be the general contractor for two of Ørsted's offshore wind projects at ProvPort," said Stephen Zemaitatis Jr., President and CEO of Riggs Distler & Company, Inc. "A year ago, we mobilized with a blank slate, to build and create a workforce of more than 125 union crafts, 20 support staff, and local subcontractors to support groundbreaking wind projects in the state of Rhode Island. Fast forward a year to the day and our work is pioneering the development of cutting-edge products and helping chart the path for a more sustainable future. By providing serial construction of advanced foundation components including suspended internal platforms, anode cages, MP Doors, and external concrete platforms we are building foundations for both wind turbines and the future of U.S. renewable energy."
"Today is another proof point that ProvPort and Waterson Terminal Services are at the forefront of supporting the U.S. offshore wind industry, and we want to thank Ørsted and Eversource for their continued trust and commitment," said Chris Waterson, General Manager, Waterson Terminal Services at ProvPort. "This facility is here because they have confidence in our capabilities and experience to handle these complex components in a manner that is safe, efficient and on time. By establishing this type of manufacturing infrastructure, we are collectively working to advance Rhode Island's blue economy while creating good paying jobs. We look forward to our partnership continuing for the foreseeable future."
Ørsted and Eversource in 2022 signed the National Offshore Wind Agreement with North America's Building Trades Unions, the labor organization representing more than three million skilled craft professionals. The partnership includes 15 International Union Presidents and their local affiliates and sets the bar for working conditions and equity, injects hundreds of millions of dollars in middle-class wages into the American economy, creates apprenticeship and career opportunities for communities most impacted by environmental injustice, and ensures projects will be built with the safest and best-trained workers in America.
In accordance with Ørsted and Eversource's national labor agreement, Riggs Distler reached a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) with the Rhode Island building and construction trades to ensure this work would be completed by local union labor. The construction of the assembly hall itself, led by general contractor Dimeo Construction, was also covered by a PLA and created an additional 40 local union jobs.
"From the beginning, the skilled craftsmen and women of the Rhode Island building trades have been involved in building out the offshore wind industry," said David Langlais, Vice President, Rhode Island Building and Construction Trades Council. "We have led the way with our advocacy and the skilled labor needed to construct future windfarms in Rhode Island. We look forward to now making these components also. It will provide hundreds of good paying middle class jobs for our members."
Revolution Wind – Rhode Island and Connecticut's first utility-scale offshore wind farm – will create thousands of direct, indirect and induced jobs, as well as dozens of permanent operations and maintenance jobs across both states. Once complete, the 704-megawatt Revolution Wind will deliver 400 megawatts of clean, affordable offshore wind power to nearly 200,000 Rhode Island homes.
Work to install the project's onshore, underground transmission system is expected to begin this year. The project is expected to be operational in 2025.
As part of Revolution Wind, Ørsted and Eversource have already made a number of additional local investments, including:
Partnered with two local shipyards – Blount Boats, in Warren, and Senesco Marine, in Quonset Point – to build five new crew-transfer vessels to support their Northeast projects. Construction is underway.
Invested $1 million to establish a training partnership with the Community College of Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, Rhode Island Commerce, the Rhode Island Building and Construction Trades Council and Building Futures. The partnership will establish the state's first Global Wind Organization (GWO) training certificate program, at CCRI.
Signed first-ever U.S. offshore wind helicopter agreement for new crew helicopters, including a $1.8 million investment in Quonset State Airport where the helicopters will be based.
Awarded a contract to Boskalis for the foundation and offshore substations transportation and installation work for Revolution Wind and South Fork Wind, as well as scour protection installation contracts for Revolution Wind.
Collaborated with marine services provider Sea Services North America, and its partner fishermen in Rhode Island, to support safe navigation in and around the companies' Northeast offshore wind farms.
Together, Ørsted and Eversource will deliver clean, reliable energy to the Northeast through offshore wind, providing enough electricity to more than 1 million homes.
Ørsted and Eversource have also jointly proposed Revolution Wind 2, a new 884-megawatt offshore wind farm, in response to Rhode Island's offshore wind solicitation. If awarded, that project would deliver enough clean, reliable renewable power for more than 500,000 Rhode Island homes and would represent more than $2 billion in direct economic benefits to Rhode Island's blue and green economies, including the creation of hundreds of local jobs and unprecedented investments in port improvements and shipbuilding.