Fourth Major Offshore Wind Project Gains Interior Department Approval


The U.S. Interior Department has approved the Revolution Wind project, to be located about 15 nautical miles southeast of Point Judith, R.I.

The project will have an estimated capacity of 704 MW – capable of powering nearly 250,000 homes – and is expected to create an estimated 1,200 local jobs during the construction phase.

This is the department’s fourth approval of a commercial-scale offshore wind energy project, joining Massachusetts’ Vineyard Wind, Rhode Island and New York’s South Fork Wind and New Jersey’s Ocean Wind 1. With this milestone, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) remains on track to complete reviews of at least 16 offshore wind project plans by 2025, representing more than 27 GW of clean energy.

The department approved Revolution Wind’s construction and operations plan under its preferred Alternative G, which 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.

BOEM worked with tribes, federal, state and local government agencies and reviewed more than 120 comments provided by industry, ocean users and other key partners and stakeholders to develop measures aimed at avoiding, minimizing and mitigating the potential impacts that may result from the project’s construction and operation.

Among the measures: 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 program to reimburse lost revenues for fisheries from other states. It has also agreed to measures such as vessel speed restrictions and construction clearance zones to reduce the potential for impacts to protected species.

From 2021-2023, BOEM also met with 44 consulting parties as part of the National Historic Preservation Act section 106 process to identify avoidance, minimization and mitigation measures for impacts to historic and cultural resources and properties,

BOEM considered the information obtained from these meetings and public comments when developing the final Environmental Impact Statement, a critical step to ensure the project’s potential environmental impacts are fully analyzed and to identify any measures to mitigate those impacts for the Record of Decision.

Photo by Katrina Berban on Unsplash

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