US offshore wind project is the fourth to secure Department of Interior approval.
The Department of the Interior today announced its approval of the 704MW Revolution Wind project off the coast of Rhode Island.
Located south-east of Point Judith, Rhode Island, the Orsted-Eversource Energy offshore wind project will help fulfil President Biden’s goal to deploy 30GW of offshore wind energy capacity by 2030.
This is the Department’s fourth approval of a commercial-scale, offshore wind energy project, joining the Vineyard Wind project offshore Massachusetts, the South Fork Wind project offshore Rhode Island and New York, and the Ocean Wind 1 project offshore New Jersey.
After carefully considering the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) alternatives, including public comments received on the draft EIS, the Department has approved Revolution Wind’s Construction and Operations Plan (COP) under its preferred Alternative G identified and analysed in the EIS.
This preferred alternative will meet energy needs by installing fewer wind turbines than originally proposed by the developer to reduce impacts to visual resources, benthic habitat, and ocean co-users.
Alternative G includes up to 79 possible locations for the installation of 65 wind turbines and two offshore substations within the lease area.
The Record of Decision includes an extensive range of measures aimed at avoiding, minimising and mitigating the potential impacts that may result from the construction and operation of the project.
Among them, Revolution Wind has committed to establishing fishery mitigation funds to compensate losses directly arising from the project incurred by recreational and commercial fisheries in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, and to creating a direct compensation programme to reimburse lost revenues for fisheries from other states.
Additionally, Revolution Wind has committed to measures such as vessel speed restrictions and construction clearance zones to reduce the potential for impacts to protected species, such as marine mammals, sea turtles, and Atlantic sturgeon.
“Revolution Wind will be key to Rhode Island and Connecticut’s clean energy future, and we’re grateful for the leadership from the Biden Administration, as well as our state partners and federal delegations, to grow the region’s offshore wind sector,” said David Hardy, Group EVP and CEO Americas at Orsted.
He added: “With the federal Record of Decision, we now advance Revolution Wind to the construction phase, bringing good-paying jobs to hundreds of local union construction workers, keeping local ports busy with assembly and marshalling activities and further growing the local supply chain.
“We’re excited to get to work building this important project.”
Source : RENEWS