GROTON, CONN. – Offshore wind joint development partners Ørsted and Eversource today announced they have awarded a $950,000 grant to Groton-based Project Oceanology and its hands-on, inquiry-based K-12 STEM program focused on climate change, sustainability, energy generation, and offshore wind. Grant funding will be distributed evenly over four years, starting in 2021and continuing through 2024.
During the first year of the new program, which will launch in fall 2021, Project Oceanology will develop and design educational units with the goal of recruiting nine southeastern Connecticut schools (three elementary, three middle school, and three high school levels) to participate in the first year. The program will focus on reaching students from schools serving economically disadvantaged and underserved communities, with plans to reach 12 school groups with the programs in 2022, 15 in 2023, and 18 in 2024.
Additionally, Project Oceanology will provide teachers with professional development sessions and develop fundraising capabilities to sustain long-term program accessibility for underserved schools.
“Our collaboration with Ørsted and Eversource will help ensure that we are training the STEM workforce of tomorrow for the critical fight against climate change,” said Project Oceanology Executive Director Jim McCauley. “We are also making sure to be inclusive as we provide hands-on, STEM-focused educational opportunities to students across the region, especially those from underserved communities.”
“Addressing climate change is one of the crucial challenges of our time and will require innovative ideas and new solutions,” said David Ortiz, Ørsted’s Head of Market Affairs for New England. “We are proud to support Project Oceanology as we work together to educate and train our future leaders in sustainability and clean energy.”
“As we continue our work to grow the offshore wind industry in Connecticut, we are eager to work closely with local communities and partners to support educational and workforce development initiatives,” said Michael Ausere, Vice President of Business Development at Eversource Energy. “Project Oceanology’s collaborative, experiential learning approach was a perfect fit for us, and we look forward to expanding access to this unique program for local students.”
Ørsted and Eversource are jointly developing 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.
Project Oceanology is a nonprofit marine science education and research facility dedicated to nurturing student and public interest and enthusiasm for marine sciences. Based in Avery Point, Groton, Project Oceanology works with local school districts and in collaboration with universities and other educational institutions. They offer inquiry-based, experiential learning. For more information, visit www.oceanology.org.
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 2020 and recognized as one of America’s Most JUST Companies. The #1 energy efficiency provider in the nation, Eversource harnesses the commitment of approximately 9,000 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
Emily deLabry, on behalf of Project Oceanology