Orsted Commits $5.5 Million to Rhode Island Higher Education for Proposed Starboard Wind Project

giant has announced substantial commitments totaling $5.5 million to higher education institutions in Rhode Island as part of its proposed Starboard Wind project. The grants, aimed at boosting Rhode Island's blue economy, will be allocated to Roger Williams University (RWU), the University of Rhode Island (URI), and the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) if the Starboard Wind project moves forward.

Under the proposed plan, Orsted pledges:

  • $2.5 million to Roger Williams University (RWU) to support a partnership with the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program (NBEP) focusing on habitat conservation and restoration projects in the Narragansett Bay region.
  • $1 million to the University of Rhode Island (URI), with $500,000 dedicated to support services for underrepresented engineering students, particularly those transferring from the Community College of Rhode Island. The remaining $500,000 will fund grants for five URI faculty members in areas such as renewable energy and coastal resilience.
  • $2 million to the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) to enhance pathways to engineering careers through scholarships, tutoring, internship coordination, and STEM preparation services.

The proposed 1,184-megawatt (MW) Starboard Wind project aims to provide stable and affordable wind energy for Rhode Island consumers over the long term. If selected, the project would entail over $1.1 billion in direct investment in Rhode Island, further bolstering Orsted's existing commitments in the state.

Ioannis Miaoulis, President of Roger Williams University, expressed gratitude for Orsted's support, emphasizing the importance of conservation and restoration initiatives in protecting Narragansett Bay.

Marc B. Parlange, President of the University of Rhode Island, acknowledged Orsted's significant contributions to research and workforce development at URI.

Dr. Rosemary A. Costigan, Interim President of the Community College of Rhode Island, highlighted the role of Orsted's support in providing pathways to fulfilling careers for CCRI students.

The Starboard Wind project is projected to create at least 3,800 full-time equivalent positions, with the majority based in Rhode Island. These positions include new construction jobs at ProvPort and roles in component assembly, operations, maintenance, and engineering. Additionally, the project is expected to stimulate local economic activity and foster collaboration among union workers in the New England region.

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