A massive wind farm expected to generate 25 percent of Rhode Islanders’ annual electrical use cleared a key hurdle Tuesday. The “Revolution Wind” project, estimated to cost $1 billion, calls for up to 50 turbines about 15 miles south of Newport. Eversource and the Danish company Ørsted are working together on the project, which they said will generate enough electricity for more than 270,000 homes.
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On Tuesday, the state Public Utilities Commission approved a 20-year contract with the companies for 400 megawatts. Construction is slated to start in 2020 and the 700-megawatt farm is expected to go online in 2023. The companies said they will hire more than 1,000 workers for the project. Connecticut also agreed to purchase 200 megawatts of power from Revolution Wind and it’s expected to power about 100,000 homes in that state.
Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimonda said the wind farm is a “significant milestone” as the state switches to renewable energy sources.
“Revolution Wind will create hundreds of jobs, invest millions in our local economy, and produce enough clean energy to power half the homes in our state,” Raimonda said in a statement. “Two years ago, I pledged to increase our clean energy portfolio tenfold by 2020.”
“Rhode Island is on the front lines of climate change,” she added. “By supporting projects like this that reduce the cost of electricity while at the same time reducing carbon emissions, we can continue to grow our green economy and cement the Ocean State’s status as a national leader in renewable energy.”
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The farm will be located near Ørsted ‘s Block Island Wind Farm, the first commercial wind farm in the country. The Block Island farm generates 30 megawatts, enough to power about 17,000 homes.