MYSTIC, Conn. – Joint-venture partners Ørsted and Eversource today announced a $1,250,000 grant in support of Mystic Aquarium, one of Connecticut’s premier cultural and research institutions. The grant will support innovative research that will improve the understanding of marine mammals and their habitats throughout New England, bring hands-on educational and career opportunities to students in the region, bolster the life-saving work of the aquarium’s Animal Rescue Program, and create a brand new, state-of-the-art exhibit centered around the potential of ocean wind energy.
This new partnership reflects Ørsted and Eversource’s commitment to delivering clean, renewable energy to Connecticut, while also working to support local communities throughout the state – bringing together the joint-venture’s commitment to shrinking our carbon footprint while delivering jobs and economic investment, with Mystic’s goal of protecting the environment through research, knowledge sharing, and animal rehabilitation.
“As we pursue our goals to deliver clean renewable energy to Connecticut and the New England region, we recognize the significant way in which our work fighting climate change aligns with the mission of Mystic Aquarium,” said David Ortiz, Head of Market Affairs for New England for Ørsted. “We are proud to support the aquarium’s efforts to protect our oceans and to educate younger generations on how we can best preserve and improve our world’s natural environment.”
“We are thrilled to partner with Mystic Aquarium on this new, exciting initiative which will provide important research funding to help protect and preserve our oceanic resources and wildlife, while also supporting educational programming and career resources for children and undergraduate women,” said Mike Ausere, Vice President of Business Development at Eversource. “Eversource is committed to working with local partners like Mystic as we continue our work serving as a catalyst for clean energy in the region.”
“Mystic Aquarium is a strong proponent of offshore wind energy, and we believe Revolution Wind is a winning solution for Connecticut and Rhode Island’s energy needs,” said Larry Rivarde, Chief Operating Officer of Mystic Aquarium. “The opportunity to engage our community in marine conservation research and job training through this project will be extremely beneficial to young people and our entire region.”
Educational programs launching this summer at the aquarium with support from Ørsted and Eversource include the “Youth Works” Program and the Women in Science Program.
Through “Youth Works,” Mystic Aquarium will offer paid internships to students in neighboring New London, giving students the chance to obtain valuable, real-world experience in a range of potential careers. Interns will have the chance to work side-by-side with staff on everything from finance, to marketing, to zoological operations.
Meanwhile, the Women in Science series will feature events and workshops throughout the month of August, highlighting women in various scientific fields as they participate in webinars and panel discussions. In addition, the program will also provide internship opportunities for undergraduate women to explore careers in veterinary science and marine research.
Ørsted and Eversource have committed to investing directly in Mystic Aquarium operations as well, with Revolution Wind set to become the official sponsor of Mystic’s Animal Rescue Program. The program is essential to the region as it is the sole federally authorized entity empowered to respond to marine mammal stranding and distress calls along the coast of Connecticut, Rhode Island, and certain parts of New York. Funding for these efforts will allow the amazing, life-saving work performed by the aquarium’s veterinarians to continue, including vital rehabilitation services that take place at the on-site clinic.
Finally, this grant will help build a brand-new exhibit at the aquarium focused on ocean wind energy. Scheduled to arrive in the Spring of 2022, Wind, Water, Wave will showcase the potential for ocean wind energy and what it will mean for our clean energy future. The exhibit will feature interactive equipment and infographic displays that celebrate achievements in marine engineering and highlight the impact of the Revolution Wind project.
Ørsted and Eversource are developers of Connecticut’s first offshore wind farm, Revolution Wind. The project will deliver 304 megawatts of clean energy to the state and 400 megawatts to Rhode Island, generating enough electricity to power more than 350,000 homes across both states.
Mystic Aquarium is a nonprofit institution that strives to inspire people to care for and protect the ocean planet through conservation, education, and research. Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, certified by American Humane, and fully licensed and certified by federal agencies for marine mammal care, Mystic Aquarium is renowned for its STEM learning programs, welcoming 800,000 visitors to its campus annually and serving over 100,000 students including undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate veterinary and research programs.
About Ørsted Offshore North America
The Ørsted vision is a world that runs entirely on green energy. Ørsted ranks as the world’s most sustainable energy company in Corporate Knights’ 2021 Global 100 index of the most sustainable corporations and is recognized on the CDP Climate Change A List as a global leader on climate action. In the United States, Ørsted operates the Block Island Wind Farm, America’s first offshore wind farm, and constructed the two-turbine Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind pilot project – the first turbines to be installed in federal waters. Ørsted has secured over 2,900 megawatts of additional capacity through five projects in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. Ørsted Offshore’s North American business is jointly headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts and Providence, Rhode Island and employs more than 150 people. To learn more visit us.orsted.com or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (@OrstedUS).
Eversource (NYSE: ES) transmits and delivers electricity and natural gas and supplies water to approximately 4.3 million customers in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Celebrated as a national leader for its corporate citizenship, Eversource is the #1 energy company in Newsweek’s list of America’s Most Responsible Companies for 2021 and recognized as one of America’s Most JUST Companies. The #1 energy efficiency provider in the nation, Eversource harnesses the commitment of approximately 9,300 employees across three states to build a single, united company around the mission of safely delivering reliable energy and water with superior customer service. The company is empowering a clean energy future in the Northeast, with nationally recognized energy efficiency solutions and successful programs to integrate new clean energy resources like solar, offshore wind, electric vehicles and battery storage, into the electric system. For more information, please visit eversource.com, and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. For more information on our water services, visit aquarionwater.com.
Justin May, on behalf of Ørsted and Eversource
Daniel Pesquera, on behalf of Mystic Aquarium