Connecticut to Soon Launch 1+ GW Offshore Wind Solicitation

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is preparing an offshore wind request for proposals (RFP) for release in the coming weeks.

DEEP published a draft offshore wind RFP in July and is now working on its final version which will, once issued, offer up to 1,196 MW of total offshore wind capacity. The deadline for the developers to submit bids in Connecticut is expected to be set to 31 January 2024.

The update on DEEP’s work on the final RFP came as Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that enables the three states to employ a coordinated selection of offshore wind projects through each of their respective offshore wind solicitations.

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“Together with Massachusetts and Rhode Island, DEEP will request bids from offshore wind developers in early 2024 as part of the state’s effort to secure the affordable and reliable clean energy mix that Connecticut needs to achieve the statutory target of 100% zero-carbon electricity by 2040 and ensure the reliability of the electric grid,” a press release from Connecticut Governor’s office from 4 October states.

On 4 October, Governor Ned Lamont announced Connecticut’s offshore wind roadmap which sets strategic objectives for offshore wind development in the state.

The roadmap identifies four strategic pillars, each with priority actions, including leveraging Connecticut’s deepwater ports to expand the state’s offshore wind marshalling, operations and maintenance, and other support capabilities, as well as expanding Connecticut’s existing workforce development programmes to ensure that local workers can prepare for and connect with high-quality jobs in the offshore wind industry.

Back in 2019, Governor Lamont signed the legislation approving the procurement of 2,000 MW of offshore wind energy in the state by 2030.

In 2021, the state’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) estimated that an additional 3,745 MW to 5,710 MW of offshore wind would be needed to meet Connecticut’s 2040 zero carbon goals.

Last year, Governor Lamont enacted two bills that seek to fully decarbonise Connecticut’s electric sector, expand existing renewable energy programmes, and require all electricity supplied to customers in Connecticut to come from zero-carbon sources by 2040.

Connecticut is set to receive the first electricity generated by offshore wind turbines in 2025, when the Revolution Wind offshore wind farm is expected to be fully operational.

The 704 MW Revolution Wind, developed by Ørsted and Eversource and recently cleared to start construction, will supply power generated by 304 MW of its installed capacity to Connecticut under power purchase agreements (PPAs) signed in 2018.

In December 2019, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) selected the 804 MW Park City Wind project, developed by Avangrid, in the state’s offshore wind solicitation. The developer signed PPAs with Connecticut’s utility companies the following year.

However, as reported a couple of days ago, Avangrid has terminated its PPAs for the Park City Wind offshore project with the Connecticut electric distribution companies and plans to rebid the 804 MW project in the upcoming auctions.

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