Orsted U.S. Offshore Wind and Eversource pledged $4.5 million Monday to talent and workforce development in Rhode Island based on the Revolution Wind project.
Governor Gina M. Raimondo said: "Ørsted and Eversource's commitments, as part of their Revolution Wind offshore wind farm, will expand our efforts already underway to build our talent pool and provide opportunities for college students in Rhode Island to study for a career in offshore wind. When they are ready to work, we will have plenty of jobs for them in our growing offshore wind supply chain, right here in Rhode Island."
Ørsted and Eversource have committed to invest $4.5 million locally, with a $3 million investment in higher education around offshore wind programs led by the University of Rhode Island, a national leader in ocean engineering, environmental science and other marine-related fields. URI will be working in partnership with other institutions of higher learning in the state.
Ørsted and Eversource will invest an additional $1.5 million, designated to the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation and the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, to support the development of Rhode Island's offshore wind supply chain and workforce. These investments will position Rhode Island to remain a leader in the growing American offshore wind industry.
"Revolution Wind is the exciting next chapter for offshore wind in the state that launched this new American industry," said Ørsted US Offshore Wind Co-CEO Jeffrey Grybowski. "We stand ready to make major investments in our home state to make sure Rhode Island students, and the state's supply chain, are ready for this new clean-jobs sector."
"The Revolution Wind project will help Rhode Island secure a cleaner and more affordable energy future," said State Energy Commissioner Carol Grant. "Orsted's investments in higher education and workforce development will provide a much-needed pathway for people who want to be ready for the fast-growing offshore wind industry and capture the many job opportunities that will be here soon."
"As the home of the country's first offshore windfarm, Rhode Island is a pioneer in this important field," said Rhode Island Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor. "It is imperative that we continue to invest in the educational and workforce initiatives that will strengthen Rhode Island's position as the epicenter of the off-shore wind industry, and this funding contributes in exactly this way. We thank Ørsted and Eversource for their partnership in this effort and we look forward to advancing together."
"Growing a workforce to meet the demand of a burgeoning industry in the state is how we make Rhode Island's economy resilient," said Department of Labor and Training Director Scott Jensen. "With two Real Jobs RI wind partnerships, we are ready to help companies gear up for opportunities within the sector, and, at the same time, help Rhode Islanders connect with an exciting career."
In February, National Grid filed its proposed power-purchase contract with Ørsted and Eversource for the 400-megawatt (MW) Revolution Wind offshore wind farm with the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission for review. Ørsted and Eversource's investments are subject to the PUC's decision on the project, which is expected by June 1, and final permitting of the project by state and federal agencies.
The funds are in addition to the $40 million in investments the company has made and will make in local ports as part of its proposed power purchase agreement with National Grid Rhode Island.