National Grid has filed for regulatory approval of a 20-year contract for energy from Ørsted’s 400MW Revolution Wind offshore wind farm with the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission (PUC).
The contract price for energy and environmental attributes is a fixed, nominal price of US 9.8 cents per kilowatt-hour (US 7.4 cents per kilowatt-hour in 2017 dollars) over the entire term of the Power Purchase Agreement. The contract price is within one US cent of the proposed 800MW Vineyard Wind project in Massachusetts.
Over the next 120 days, PUC will conduct a full and transparent review of the proposed contract and its total energy, economic, and environmental benefits and costs to Rhode Island consumers.
The project, originally developed by Providence-based Deepwater Wind, has since been acquired by Ørsted. National Grid selected Revolution Wind in coordination with the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources and the Division of Public Utilities and Carriers.
Revolution Wind was selected through a competitive offshore wind energy procurement process in collaboration with Massachusetts. The procurement was part of Massachusetts’s 2017 offshore wind request for proposals, which will result in 1,200MW of capacity in total, 800MW of which will be delivered to Massachusetts and 400MW to Rhode Island.
“The Revolution Wind project is a dramatic leap forward in our efforts to expand affordable, clean energy in Rhode Island,” said State Energy Commissioner Carol Grant.
“The project will reduce consumer energy costs while supplying enough carbon-free electricity to meet a quarter of the state’s annual demand. It is a game changer for our energy system, environment, and our economy – one that will cement Rhode Island as a leader in the growing U.S. offshore wind industry and create hundreds of new jobs for our workforce.”
National Grid and the state of Rhode Island pioneered the delivery of offshore wind power through the introduction of the 30MW Block Island Wind Farm, off the coast of Rhode Island, currently the only operational offshore wind farm in the US.
“When we built the Block Island wind farm, we positioned Rhode Island as the leader in a brand-new U.S. offshore wind industry,” said Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo.
“Other states watched us and followed our example. Today I’m pleased to announce that the proposed Revolution Wind offshore wind farm, more than 13 times the size of the Block Island project, offers electricity at prices far lower than we anticipated. This is a triple-win for our state because it provides affordable, clean energy for Rhode Islanders, adds jobs to our economy, and dramatically reduces carbon emissions.”
Once permits are in-hand, local construction work on Revolution Wind could begin as early as 2020, with the project potentially in operation by 2023.
Ørsted has committed to investing USD 250 million locally on the project, including USD 40 million in investments in Rhode Island ports and funds for higher education, supply chain development and workforce development, with details to be announced in the coming weeks, according to the governor’s office.