Mass. Utilities Need More Time for 83C Offshore Wind Farms Selection

Massachusetts electric distribution companies Eversource Energy, National Grid and Unitil have extended the date for selection of offshore wind projects under the Section 83C of the Green Communities Act from 23 April to 23 May due to multiple reasons, including the fact that there are some 20 proposals and some of them require more time due to their complexity.

Namely, on 23 April, the utilities notified the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) of the one-month extension of the selection period, after which the chosen projects will enter negotiation for signing long-term offshore wind energy generation contracts. The dates for execution of contracts (2 July) and submission of contracts for DPU approval (31 July) remain unchanged, the companies stated in their notice.

According to the notice, even though fewer and less varied proposals had been expected under the 83C solicitation as compared to 83D – which resulted in an award of a contract to a hydropower project in January – it turned out that there was a vast number of 83C bids submitted with several scenarios that require detailed analysis.

“While it is correct that fewer entities participated in the Section 83C RFP, the RFP still resulted in approximately 20 separate bids, some with multiple pricing and other options, including several complex scenarios that require detailed and demanding analysis. Adequately evaluating these detailed and complex proposals, however, requires a great deal of time, effort, and resources,” the distribution companies stated in the document sent to DPU.

The offshore wind developers with projects off Massachusetts that submitted their bids under the Section 83C Request for Proposals (RFP) include Vineyard Wind and Avangrid Renewables, Bay State Wind (a joint venture between Ørsted and Eversource) and Deepwater Wind.

The utilities are looking for up to 800MW of power generated by offshore wind and are carrying out the procurement process in coordination with the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER).

Offshore WIND Staff

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