Ørsted Proposes New Rhode Island Offshore Wind Farm to Power Ocean State’s Blue Economy and Clean Energy Future

America’s Offshore Wind Leader Plans Major New Investments in Local Jobs, Ports and Workforce Training with Proposed Project: Starboard Wind

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – MARCH 27, 2024 – Rhode Island’s offshore wind leader Ørsted announced today that it has submitted a proposal for its Starboard Wind project, which would power more than 600,000 homes with renewable energy while delivering new investments that cement the Ocean State’s status as a national leader in the offshore wind industry and emerging Blue Economy.  

Ørsted’s proposed 1,184-megawatt (MW) Starboard Wind project would deliver clean and reliable offshore wind energy at stable and affordable pricing for Rhode Island homeowners and businesses for decades. If selected, Starboard Wind would result in more than $1.1 billion of direct, private investment and expenditure in Rhode Island, which would come on top of Ørsted’s existing investments and commitments in the state.  

Ørsted and Eversource are currently constructing Revolution Wind, Rhode Island’s first utility-scale offshore wind farm. Together with Starboard Wind, Ørsted’s projects would satisfy as much as three-quarters of Rhode Island’s electric demand, propelling the state toward its target of 100 percent clean energy by 2033. 

“Rhode Island is the birthplace of offshore wind in America, and we’re proud to have built a thriving hub for this new U.S. energy industry with our partners in the Ocean State,” said David Hardy, Group EVP and CEO Americas at Ørsted. “Starboard Wind represents the next chapter in Rhode Island’s offshore wind journey. The project will power the state toward its clean energy goals while driving job creation, community benefits and investments into the state’s ports and infrastructure. We look forward to continuing to build on our highly successful partnership with Rhode Island for many years to come.” 

Starboard Wind would create at least 3,800 full-time equivalent positions, nearly all of which would be based in Rhode Island. This includes more than 640 new direct jobs in the state, including 100 new local union construction jobs at ProvPort, where Ørsted has established an industry hub, to support the expanded construction of advanced foundation components as Rhode Island strengthens its position in the U.S. offshore wind supply chain.  

In addition to new construction roles, Starboard Wind will directly create jobs across component assembly, operations and maintenance, engineering and other roles, as well as supporting hundreds of other jobs indirectly in Rhode Island by boosting local economic activity. The project would also employ union workers in neighboring New England states, driving regional benefits and collaboration.  

Energy affordability and reliability is at the heart of the Starboard Wind proposal. The project will leverage innovative pricing mechanisms that would allow Rhode Island ratepayers to benefit as macroeconomic conditions improve and interest rates decline. Starboard Wind has a cost-benefit ratio of nearly 2:1, meaning that for every dollar invested in the project, Rhode Island will receive nearly double the benefits in jobs and investments, improved energy-system reliability and environmental benefits. 

Starboard Wind will deliver crucial port investments that build on Rhode Island’s existing role in the offshore wind industry, while also advancing environmental justice and creating inclusive training and career opportunities for historically marginalized Rhode Islanders. 

The project would fund a range of community investments and partnerships. This includes more than $40 million of direct investments in Rhode Island organizations to support the state’s workforce and supplier diversity, inclusive workforce training, innovation and the Blue Economy, higher education and research, environmental justice efforts, and biodiversity. 

Ørsted is a longtime leader in Rhode Island’s Blue Economy and is proud to call Rhode Island home to both its co-U.S. headquarters and a regional operations and maintenance hub. Ørsted’s plans for Starboard Wind are earning widespread support from community, business, labor, academic and environmental leaders across Rhode Island. 

“For the past decade, Ørsted has been a model corporate citizen in Rhode Island, investing heavily in job training, port infrastructure, and workforce development. Now, as we look to continue our state’s leadership in offshore wind, Ørsted’s Starboard Wind proposal stands apart,” said Laurie White, President of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce. “We need a proven and trusted partner who can hit the ground running to deliver reliable clean energy for Rhode Islanders, and that is Ørsted.” 

“Climate change is a global crisis with local impacts, and our brothers and sisters in labor are putting our skills to work combatting this challenge,” said Michael F. Sabitoni, General Secretary-Treasurer of the Laborers’ International Union of North America and President of the Rhode Island Building and Construction Trades Council. “Ørsted has demonstrated a commitment not just to using union labor on their projects, but also to supporting the next generation of union workers – investing in job training, building a pipeline of talent, and partnering with universities. Ørsted is a company that walks the walk on building a truly sustainable, union-led industry, and we fully support their Starboard Wind proposal.” 

"Ørsted's commitment to Rhode Island has been a game-changer for ProvPort, creating hundreds of jobs and positioning us as a national hub of offshore wind activity. Thanks to Ørsted's investments, ProvPort is as busy as ever with workers building, marshalling and assembling the components of our clean energy future,” said Chris Waterson, President and CEO, Waterson Terminal Services. “Starboard Wind will expand this fruitful partnership and ensure robust economic growth in our port for years to come, and we fully support this proposal."

“For several years, Ørsted has been a reliable partner for URI, collaborating in research and hiring our graduates,” said Marc B. Parlange, President of the University of Rhode Island. “At the same time, Ørsted has shown a commitment to helping Rhode Island address climate change — a mission that we share at URI — and to partnering with Rhode Island institutions to help meet our ambitious clean energy goals.” 

“CCRI is one of Rhode Island’s leading engines for workforce development, and our partnerships with Ørsted have laid the foundation for CCRI graduates to help lead America’s clean energy revolution,” said Dr. Rosemary A. Costigan, Interim President of the Community College of Rhode Island. “From a new state-of-the-art Global Wind Organization safety training center at CCRI to nation-leading workforce development initiatives, Ørsted’s investments in Rhode Island have helped position the Ocean State at the center of the nation’s offshore wind industry, and their Starboard Wind project will build on that progress and create good-paying jobs for the next generation of CCRI students.” 

Under Governor Dan McKee’s leadership, Rhode Island is building on its position as home to America’s first offshore wind farm, Ørsted’s Block Island Wind Farm, as well as the most ambitious clean energy target in the nation. Onshore construction is underway for the 704 MW Revolution Wind project and offshore construction is expected to start in the months ahead. Revolution Wind will deliver 400 megawatts of clean, affordable offshore wind power to nearly 200,000 Rhode Island homes. The project is expected to be operational in 2025. 

Already, Rhode Island has become a leader in developing a homegrown offshore wind supply chain, including a thriving industry hub of nearly 30 companies at Providence CIC, and has begun training the future offshore wind workforce.  

As part of Revolution Wind, a joint venture project with Eversource, Ørsted has already:  

Additional information about Ørsted and Starboard Wind can be found at us.orsted.com/starboard-wind. 

About Ørsted  
A global clean energy leader, Ørsted develops, constructs, and operates offshore and land-based wind farms, solar farms, energy storage facilities, and bioenergy plants. Ørsted was the first energy company in the world to have its science-based net-zero emissions target validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and is recognized as the world’s most sustainable energy company in the Corporate Knights Global 100 index.  

In the United States, the company has a portfolio of clean energy assets and partnerships that includes offshore wind energy, land-based wind energy, solar, battery storage and e-fuels. Ørsted is a U.S. leader in offshore wind energy with approximately 3 gigawatts in development and operates America’s first offshore wind farm, located off the coast of Block Island. Ørsted has a total U.S. land-based capacity of 5 gigawatts across wind, solar, storage technologies and e-fuels. To learn more about the Ørsted U.S. business, visit us.orsted.com or follow the company on Twitter (@OrstedUS), Instagram, and Facebook.  

Media Contact 

Meaghan Wims