Massachusetts Opens Door to Additional 1.6GW of Offshore Wind

The Massachusetts House and Senate have approved a bill which could boost the state’s target of installed and procured offshore wind capacity to up to 3.2GW by 2035.

The bill to advance clean energy, H4857, directs the state’s Department of Energy Resources to investigate the necessity, benefits and costs of requiring distribution companies to jointly and competitively conduct additional offshore wind generation solicitations and procurements of up to approximately 1.6GW of aggregate nameplate capacity, in addition to the existing 1.6GW by 2027 target set in 2016, and may require said additional solicitations and procurements by 31 December, 2035.

According to Sierra Club Massachusetts, the bill is seen as a compromise solution and ”falls far short of what the state Senate passed in June”, mandating 5GW of offshore wind by 2035.

The bill will now be sent to the state’s Governor Charlie Baker to be signed into law.

In May 2018, the state’s distribution companies and the Department of Energy Resources selected the 800MW Vineyard Wind project to proceed with further contract negotiations under the current target.

In early July, the utilities informed that the negotiations were in the final stages and that the final long-term contracts would be submitted to the Department of Public Utilities for review and approval by 31 July.

Photo: Image for illustrative purposes only. Source: Ørsted