New England Offshore Wind Auction Attracts Four Bidders

Four developers have submitted their bids in response to the combined Connecticut-Massachusetts-Rhode Island offshore wind solicitation with the tenders totalling 6.8 GW. The proposals were made by Avangrid Renewables, Ørsted, SouthCoast Wind Energy, and Vineyard Offshore.

In October 2023, the three states signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on offshore wind procurement, although each held its own tender.

Massachusetts launched its fourth and largest offshore wind solicitation to date on 30 August 2023, seeking 3.6 GW of new generation capacity, and Rhode Island and Connecticut opened their offshore wind solicitation in October 2023 for 1.2 GW and 2 GW of offshore wind, respectively.

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Massachusetts received bids from Avangrid Renewables, SouthCoast Wind Energy, and Vineyard Offshore in response to the region’s largest solicitation to date for up to 3,600 MW of offshore wind.

“The Healey-Driscoll Administration will review bids over the coming months, and coordinate with Connecticut and Rhode Island to evaluate multi-state projects that would increase benefits for the region, lower costs, and enhance project viability,” said Elizabeth Mahony, Massachusetts Energy Resources Commissioner.

Final decisions on project evaluation are due by 7 August. The electric distribution companies would then execute long-term contracts with selected project(s) by 9 October, and resulting contracts would be filed with the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities for review and approval by 13 November.

Rhode Island Energy and the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) announced on 27 March that they will evaluate offshore wind proposals from four project developers: Avangrid Renewables, Ørsted, SouthCoast Wind Energy, and Vineyard Offshore.

None of the developers provided any indication in their public statements regarding the pricing details they included in their submissions to state regulatory agencies and the utilities responsible for reviewing their power purchase offers.

Avangrid Submits Multiple Proposals

Iberdrola’s Avangrid Renewables submitted multiple offshore wind proposals, including the shovel-ready 791 MW New England Wind 1 (formerly known as Park City Wind) and the 1,080 MW New England Wind 2.

Located 30 miles (about 48 kilometres) south of Barnstable, Massachusetts, in the federal lease area OCS-A-0534, New England Wind 1 received a Final Environmental Impact Statement from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) in February 2024, with a Record of Decision (ROD) anticipated in April and Construction and Operations Plan (COP) Approval expected in July this year.

The project construction could start as soon as next year and achieve commercial operations in 2029, said Avangrid.

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New England Wind 2, formally known as Commonwealth Wind, is only offered as a combined project with New England Wind 1. The project could create up to 9,200 full-time equivalent jobs and bring USD 8 billion in direct investment to the region.

If combined, the two projects could generate enough power to supply nearly 1 million homes.

Ørsted Proposes 1,184 MW Offshore Wind Project

In a separate bid, Ørsted has proposed the 1,184 MW Starboard Wind offshore wind project, which would power more than 600,000 homes in the state and bring nearly USD 420 million of direct investment and expenditure to Connecticut.

Starboard Wind would result in more than 800 full-time equivalent positions, including many new jobs at New London’s State Pier, which is planned to be used to deliver Starboard Wind for staging and assembly. The project could supply power to Connecticut and/or Rhode Island.

Ørsted and Eversource are currently building the 704 MW Revolution Wind, Connecticut’s first offshore wind farm.

Vineyard Offshore Unveils Plans for Vineyard Wind 2

Vineyard Offshore proposed the 1,200 MW Vineyard Wind 2 offshore wind project in response to the New England states’ solicitation for up to 6.8 GW of offshore wind capacity.

Vineyard Wind 2 will be located 29 miles (approx. 46 kilometres) south of Nantucket in lease area OCS-522, held by funds managed by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP).

The company behind Vineyard Wind 1, the nation’s first commercial-scale offshore wind project, said that Vineyard Wind 2 would produce enough power to supply more than 650,000 homes.

The project is expected to generate approx. USD 2.3 billion in direct expenditure and could start in 2031.

When it comes to SouthCoast Wind, the company only confirmed its bid, unveiling no details about the offshore wind project.

“Today marks a pivotal moment for the SouthCoast Wind project and the offshore wind industry in New England. The first ever tri-state offshore wind solicitation demonstrates an unshakeable commitment to a clean energy future for all and we are proud to submit our bid,” said Michael Brown, CEO of SouthCoast Wind.

After years of extraordinary work by our team, the SouthCoast Wind project is on schedule to deliver abundant and renewable power to New England’s electric grid by 2030.”


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NOTE: The original article has been amended.