GROTON, Conn. (November 14, 2023)
– Ørsted and Eversource, developers of Connecticut's first offshore wind farm, Revolution Wind
, and UConn Avery Point today announced a collaborative, multi-year fisheries research program to study further the relationship between offshore wind farms and marine life. Ørsted and Eversource have awarded a $1.25 million grant to UConn Avery Point to fund the program, which kicked off this semester and will wrap up in 2025.
Offshore wind will play an essential role in meeting Connecticut and the country's clean energy goals and in curbing the effects of climate change that are changing ocean environments and threatening marine habitats. Across its project portfolio, Ørsted and Eversource support research partnerships to better understand how to build offshore wind responsibly, sustainably, and in concert with nature while minimizing its influence on marine life.
"UConn is pleased to partner with Ørsted and Eversource at the intersection of advanced research and environmental protection," said Pamir Alpay, UConn's Vice President for Research, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship
. "It is critical that we balance our research and advancement into new wind energy with our commitment to stewardship of the environment. UConn researchers, including our superb students, have a unique opportunity to help advance sustainable and renewable technologies and study potential impact directly from Connecticut's shoreline."
"Ørsted prioritizes coexistence with ocean users and marine wildlife as we develop and operate our offshore wind projects. As we continue to responsibly build more renewable, offshore wind energy to combat climate change and support our country's clean energy goals, we will continue to do so in a way that minimizes impact on marine life," said Nicole Verdi, Head of Government Affairs & Policy, New England, Ørsted
. "UConn is one of the top public institutions in the country, and we are proud to partner with UConn Avery Point on this critical research program that will provide valuable data to better inform the industry's clean energy development efforts while protecting marine environments for the future."
"As our marine populations continue to be devastated by the catastrophic consequences of climate change, we must double down on work with local communities and research institutions to refine the best practices to accelerate the transition to a new clean energy future sustainably," said Michael Ausere, Vice President of Business Development, Eversource
. "We couldn't be prouder to invest in this essential work that will help support some of the region's best scientists at UConn Avery Point to further our understanding of marine ecosystems and their interrelation to offshore wind."
The partnership with UConn Avery Point builds on Ørsted and Eversource's multi-year research partnership with Mystic Aquarium
, announced in November 2022, which is one of the nation's first comprehensive studies of the potential effects of offshore wind turbines on marine mammals and sea turtles.
Revolution Wind is a 704-megawatt project that will provide enough clean, renewable energy for more than 350,000 homes in Connecticut and Rhode Island beginning in 2025. It will be located 32 miles southeast of Connecticut, 15 miles south of Rhode Island, and 12 miles southwest of Martha's Vineyard. Turbines for the wind farm will be assembled and shipped from State Pier in the Port of New London.
Revolution Wind’s approval by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management came after a robust environmental review and stakeholder engagement process, including under the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Historic Preservation Act.