US DOI Approved Revolution Wind Project Advancing Clean Energy Goals, Fourth Offshore Wind Project Approval by Biden-Harris Administration

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The US Department of the Interior (DOI) has taken a significant stride toward a cleaner energy future with the official approval of the Revolution Wind project. Situated approximately 15 nautical miles southeast of Point Judith, Rhode Island, this project is slated to produce 704 megawatts of clean energy, capable of powering nearly 250,000 homes. Alongside this environmental milestone, an estimated 1,200 local jobs are anticipated to be created during the construction phase. The approval of the Revolution Wind project solidifies the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to realizing President Biden’s ambitious target of deploying 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind energy capacity by the year 2030. This marks the Department’s fourth approval of a commercial-scale offshore wind energy project, following in the footsteps of the Vineyard Wind project off the coast of Massachusetts, the South Fork Wind project off the shores of Rhode Island and New York, and the Ocean Wind 1 project near New Jersey.

Secretary Deb Haaland voiced her optimism, stating, “President Biden has set an ambitious goal of achieving 30 GW of offshore wind by 2030 – and I am more confident than ever that we will meet it. Together with industry, labor, and partners from coast to coast, we are building an entirely new industry off the east and west, and Gulf coasts. The Interior Department is committed to the Biden-Harris administration’s all-of-government approach to the clean energy future and delivering clean, reliable renewable energy to help respond to the climate crisis, lower energy costs, and create good-paying union jobs across the manufacturing, shipbuilding, and construction sectors.”

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“Today’s approval is not the end of our work on this project,” further added Secretary Haaland. “We will continue to maintain open communication and frequent collaboration with federal partners, Tribal Nations, states, industry, and ocean users to address potential challenges to and identify opportunities for the continued success of the U.S. offshore wind industry.”

Ali Zaidi, Assistant to the President and National Climate Advisor, lauded President Biden’s leadership commenting, “Under President Biden’s leadership, the American offshore wind industry is booming, creating new opportunities up and down the supply chain. Thanks to the Biden-Harris administration’s historic climate and clean energy agenda, companies have quadrupled their U.S. offshore wind investments to over $20 billion, representing thousands of good-paying union jobs. Today’s approval of a fourth major offshore wind project is our latest permitting milestone that will help strengthen America’s energy security, make our power grid more reliable, lower energy costs, and cut dangerous climate pollution. This is Bidenomics in action.”

Under President Biden’s economic agenda, coined as “Bidenomics,” the US is gearing towards a clean energy future, promoting American-made products, bolstering domestic manufacturing, and attracting more than $500 billion in private sector manufacturing and clean energy investments, with a particular focus on the offshore wind industry. Companies have already announced 18 offshore wind shipbuilding projects and investments exceeding $3.5 billion across 12 manufacturing facilities and 13 ports, which translates into thousands of new jobs. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), alongside federal partners, is engaging in a comprehensive approach to facilitate efficient permitting and build a robust offshore wind industry that benefits communities while coexisting harmoniously with other ocean users.

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BOEM Director Elizabeth Klein emphasized the significance of the offshore wind project saying, “Revolution Wind represents another step forward in achieving the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy capacity by 2030. The project’s approval underscores the Administration’s commitment to promoting domestic energy production and fighting climate change while promoting economic growth and fostering environmental stewardship within coastal communities. We are committed to working closely with Tribes, state and local leaders, industry, ocean users, and key stakeholders to responsibly develop this clean energy resource and ensure a sustainable future for generations to come.”

Following thorough consideration of the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) alternatives and public input, the Department has approved Revolution Wind’s Construction and Operations Plan (COP) under its preferred Alternative G, as identified and analyzed in the EIS. This alternative will reduce impacts on visual resources, benthic habitat, and ocean co-users by installing fewer wind turbines than initially proposed by the developer. Alternative G encompasses up to 79 possible locations for the installation of 65 wind turbines and two offshore substations within the lease area.

The Record of Decision outlines an array of measures aimed at avoiding, minimizing, and mitigating potential impacts from the project’s construction and operation. These measures include fishery mitigation funds to compensate losses incurred by recreational and commercial fisheries in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, as well as a direct compensation program for fisheries in other states. Additional measures such as vessel speed restrictions and construction clearance zones aim to minimize impacts on protected species like marine mammals, sea turtles, and Atlantic sturgeon.

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BOEM engaged with Tribes, and federal, state, and local government agencies, and incorporated over 120 comments from industry, ocean users, and other stakeholders to develop these mitigation measures. Between 2021 and 2023, BOEM held meetings with 44 consulting parties, including Tribal Nations, federal and state agencies, local governments, nongovernmental organizations, private property owners, and Revolution Wind, 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’s meticulous consideration of input and meetings with stakeholders helped shape the final EIS, a critical step to thoroughly analyze the project’s potential environmental impacts and identify mitigation measures, all with the goal of ensuring a sustainable future.

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