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Rhode Island Is Struggling To Realize Its Offshore Wind Potential

Rhode Island is making strides in the renewable energy sector, with plans to develop offshore wind energy. Governor McKee recently announced a Request for Proposals (RFP) for 600 to 1,000 megawatts of newly developed offshore wind capacity. This move is part of the state’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase its use of renewable energy sources.

The first offshore wind farm in the US was built off Block Island in 2016, and it has been providing clean energy to the area ever since. The proposed Revolution Wind Farm project would be located off the coast of Rhode Island and Connecticut and have a capacity of 704 MW. It would provide clean, affordable power to both states.

In addition to Revolution Wind Farm, there are other potential sites for offshore wind development in Rhode Island. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has identified areas with annual average wind speeds of 7 meters per second or greater at 90-m height as suitable for offshore development. These areas could potentially be used for future projects that would generate even more renewable energy for Rhode Island residents.

However, despite these promising opportunities, only one proposal was submitted in response to Governor McKee’s RFP – from Orsted US Offshore Wind. While this is a positive step forward, some stakeholders had hoped that more developers would submit proposals so that there could be more competition and better prices for consumers.

Rhode Island officials are currently evaluating Orsted’s proposal and will make a decision on whether or not to move forward with it later this year. If approved, it could lead to significant investment in the state’s economy and create thousands of jobs related to construction and operation of the new offshore wind farm. It could also help reduce electricity costs by providing an additional source of clean energy that is cheaper than traditional fossil fuels like coal or natural gas.

Offshore wind has become increasingly popular worldwide due to its potential for generating large amounts of renewable energy with minimal environmental impact. In order for Rhode Island to remain competitive in this growing industry, it must continue investing in infrastructure and technology related to offshore wind development while also ensuring that any projects meet stringent safety standards and adhere to strict environmental regulations.

Overall, Rhode Island is taking important steps towards increasing its use of renewable energy sources such as offshore wind power. With continued investment in infrastructure and technology related to offshore wind development, along with careful evaluation of any proposals received from developers, Rhode Island can ensure that it remains at the forefront of this rapidly growing industry while also helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions and providing clean, affordable electricity for its residents.

By Michael Kern for Oilprice.com


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  • DoRight Deikins on March 20 2023 said:
    Looks great. So how much have electricity prices risen in Rhode Island in the last 5 years. I'm estimating from the avg growth rate of electricity bills in RI (according to EnergysAge, a org promoting alternate energy), that the avg price of electricity in 2018 was $0.19/kwh, now it's $0.25/kwh or 6% higher than the national avg for 2023.

    So much for providing «providing clean, affordable electricity for its residents».

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