Ocean State Officials Celebrate Revolution Wind’s Progress


The union labor necessary for building the advanced foundation components and other major parts of the Revolution Wind project were praised. (Rob Smith/ecoRI News)

PROVIDENCE — Just one month after the project started putting “steel in water,” Revolution Wind announced this week it completed manufacturing the advanced foundation components for use in its eponymous wind farm.

Federal and state officials descended on the project’s base in the Port of Providence on Thursday, praising the progress made on Revolution Wind, and crediting the project for creating around 1,200 union jobs around the state.

“We’re investing in projects that’s going to pay dividends for decades to come,” Gov. Dan McKee said at the press event. “We will continue to do the work and put people to work.”

The Revolution Wind project is slated to install offshore wind turbines at 65 positions in its lease area, located 15 nautical miles southeast of Point Judith in Narragansett. Once operational, the wind farm is expected to generate 400 megawatts of electricity for Rhode Island and Connecticut, enough to power 350,000 homes in the region.

It’s a project that’s brought princely sums into the state. The wind farm’s parent companies, utility multinationals Ørsted and Eversource, have invested more than $100 million into turning their ProvPort base into a major hub for offshore wind construction, the largest offshore wind supply chain investment in state history, according to officials.

Elizabeth Klein, director of the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), the federal regulator of offshore wind projects, said she frequently hears concerns from elected officials and members of the public about the existential threat of climate change. Those feelings partially abated, said Klein, when she saw wind turbines from the Block Island and South Fork wind farms on her flight into the state.

“When I come to a place like Rhode Island, I am filled with hope,” said Klein.

Klein said Revolution Wind was the fourth of eight offshore wind projects approved by her office since she became its director in 2021. Klein said her office was planning to expand lease areas for offshore wind into the Gulf of Mexico, along the Pacific Coast, and further north in the Gulf of Maine.

Officials also celebrated the arrival of a new offshore wind service operations vessel that recently arrived in state waters. It’s called the ECO EDISON, and it’s a custom-built, modern, 262-foot-long vessel that will house up to 60 offshore wind technicians during construction of Revolution Wind’s turbines.

But despite all the celebration Thursday of reaching renewable energy milestones and progressing toward the country’s climate goals, the real belles of the ball were the state’s labor unions. Officials repeatedly emphasized the credit deserved for union labor for constructing the advanced foundation components and other major parts of the wind farm.

Bill Quinlan, president of transmission and offshore wind projects for Eversource Energy, said his company was proud to bring well-paying union jobs to the state.

“Our commitment to working hand in hand with local union labor is evidenced not just as the foundation components work completed at ProvPort,” said Quinlan. “But also in the work underway for the onshore transmission system.”

The export cables for the Revolution Wind project make landfall at Quonset in North Kingstown, and Quinlan said the state, from McKee to local town officials, could not have been more accommodating to the project.

Construction of Revolution Wind is expected to continue into next year, with the wind farm expected to become operational sometime in 2025.


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