A bill passed this week by Rhode Island’s Senate will require the development of 600 megawatts of new offshore wind capacity if enacted. The legislation now heads to the state’s House of Representatives for consideration.
Rhode Island is already home to the 30 MW Block Island Wind Farm, North America’s first operational offshore wind farm. The state has also approved the 400 MW Revolution Wind offshore project. An additional 600 MW of offshore wind would expand the state’s clean energy portfolio sufficiently to cover 50% of the state’s estimated 2030 electricity demand.
Senator Euer, who sponsored the bill, said in a statement: “When we enacted the Act on Climate last year, Rhode Island made a historically firm, enforceable commitment to rapidly adopt renewable energy and get serious about our climate obligations. Projects like the one we’re seeking with this legislation are an important part of our energy future. I’m glad to see the level of support there is for a major project like this one, because it will be a major step toward responsibly developed renewable energy in Rhode Island.” The Act on Climate sets mandatory, enforceable emissions-reduction goals to culminate in net-zero economy-wide emissions in the state by 2050.
The bill requires that applications for new development be publicly transparent, comply with labour standards and include a diversity, equity and inclusion plan. Bidders would also have to provide information on potential environmental impacts through the submittal of an environmental and fisheries mitigation plan.