Connecticut Utilities Move Forward with Park City Wind PPAs

Connecticut’s utilities Eversource Energy and United Illuminating have filed with the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) executed power purchase agreements for the 804 MW Park City Wind Project developed by Vineyard Wind.

Vineyard Wind/Illustration

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) selected the Park City Wind project in December 2019 to advance to contract negotiations with the two utilities.

If approved by PURA, the Park City Wind project will provide the equivalent of 14% of Connecticut’s electricity supply when it comes online in 2025, and represents the largest purchase of renewable energy in this US state’s history, DEEP said.

Under the agreements, if approved, the utilities will purchase energy and environmental attributes associated with the project for a twenty-year term.

“The signing of these agreements would be a huge milestone for the project during ordinary times, but that fact that we were able to get this done during the COVID-19 crisis is all the more significant,” said Vineyard Wind CEO Lars Thaaning-Pedersen.

“We want to thank DEEP and the Connecticut EDCs for working with us as we take giant steps forward to bring Connecticut’s largest ever commitment to clean, renewable energy to fruition.”

The project includes an estimated USD 890 million in direct economic development in Connecticut, including Bridgeport Harbor and the local supply chain. It includes a commitment to pay no less than the prevailing wage and to negotiate in good faith for a mutually agreeable project labor agreement.

Vineyard Wind estimates 2,800 direct full-time employment years will be created in Connecticut through the project.

“This news marks another positive step toward our goal of achieving a completely carbon-free electricity supply within 20 years,” Connecticut’s Governor Ned Lamont said.

“I look forward to the day this project comes online, and the many significant benefits it will bring Connecticut, its residents, and the region for years to come. This project is a critical element to the state becoming a leader in this emerging industry, and it will spur incredible job growth and economic activity around our state.”

This is Connecticut’s third procurement with offshore wind as a competitive resource, and the first procurement specifically focused on offshore wind.

In 2018, DEEP selected a total of 304 MW of offshore wind from Revolution Wind developed by Ørsted and Eversource.

Revolution Wind includes economic development commitments to the state pier in New London. With this most recent selection, Connecticut is leading New York (5%) and Massachusetts (13%), with the equivalent of 19% of its electric load under contract with offshore wind projects. Rhode Island currently has the equivalent of 25% of its electric load committed to offshore wind projects, DEEP said.