Developers File Bids for Powering Massachusetts with Offshore Wind

Offshore wind developers with projects in the U.S. waters off Massachusetts have submitted their bids in response to a call made in June 2017, under which five of the state’s utilities have been seeking to procure a total of 400MW of offshore wind generation, with bidders allowed to offer up to approximately 800MW. The closing date for submitting proposals is today, 20 December.

After the selection process is completed, the awarded offshore wind generation and associated transmission projects will enter into long-term contracts of 15 – 20 years. All proposals must provide for a scheduled commercial operation date before 1 January 2027.

Vineyard Wind informed today that it responded to the call by proposing its 800MW project approximately 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard, developed jointly with Avangrid Renewables. The developer acquired the lease rights for the project in 2015 (then known as OffshoreMW).

Besides Vineyard Wind, Ørsted, former DONG Energy, and Deepwater Wind also have offshore wind projects in Massachusetts waters.

The five utilities include Fitchburg Gas & Electric Light Company (Unitil), Massachusetts Electric Company (National Grid), Nantucket Electric Company (National Grid) NSTAR Electric Company (Eversource Energy), and Western Massachusetts Electric Company (Eversource Energy). They are carrying out the procurement process in coordination with the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER).

This initial solicitation is part of a procurement schedule under which the distribution companies will enter into cost-effective contracts for offshore wind energy equal to approximately 1,600MW of aggregate nameplate capacity. On 1 August 2016, the Massachusetts State Legislature voted on and passed an energy bill which includes a requirement that utilities enter into long-term contract for 1,600MW of offshore wind power not later than 30 June 2027.

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