To continue to build on our established Offshore Wind Energy Career Pathway Training system to meet the near term and future employment and credential requirements within this fast-emerging industry in Rhode Island. In 2018, we initiated, designed, and implemented Rhode Island’s first offshore wind career pathway training system focused on training youth and adults with the support of our educational and industry partners.
OFFSHORE WIND INDUSTRY FACTS
Within the next 10 Years:
- Its estimated that offshore wind projects will produce 1.5 Gigawatts of Power off the coast of Rhode Island and surrounding area
- Hundreds of Offshore Wind Turbines will be built, installed, and maintained off the Atlantic Coast in the future
- 6,000 Supply Chain Jobs are created per 100 Offshore Wind Turbines
- An offshore wind energy turbine can generate enough electricity to meet the annual needs of over 11,000 households each year.
Atlantic Coast Wind Projects:
On November 24th, the Department of the Interior, which includes the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), announced the approval of the second commercial-scale offshore wind farm in the United States—Orsted’s South Fork Wind Farm. South Fork is located 35 miles east of Montauk and 19 miles southeast of Block Island. The 12-turbine project is slated to begin construction in early 2022. The first commercial offshore wind farm, the 62-turbine Vineyard Wind 1 12 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard, was approved last May, and is expected to be completed in 2023.
These are the only two commercial projects currently approved, but there are more than a dozen making their way through the permitting process that could lead to around 2000 turbines in the ocean from Massachusetts to North Carolina, as the table below illustrates. Recently, the Biden administration announced an upcoming Offshore Wind Area auction for 480,000 acres in the New York Bight off of New York and New Jersey.
In addition, BOEM recently began identifying three new areas for potential wind development off of Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina—the Central Atlantic Planning Area. Granted, this is the earliest stage in BOEM’s leasing process, and these areas, outlined in red below, will be significantly narrowed down. It’s also worth mentioning that BOEM is working to bring offshore wind to the South Atlantic off the Carolinas, Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific west coast.Currently, there are two offshore wind projects in the water—the five-turbine Block Island Wind Farm off Rhode Island and the two-turbine Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Project off Virginia Beach. These projects involve seven wind turbines, and only two (off VA) are in federal waters
WindWinRI Preparing to meet the demand
- Supporting the development of educational programs for primary and secondary aged students
- Developing post-secondary education pathways
- Supporting incumbent, underemployed, and unemployed workers
- Working with Industry and educational partners