Connecticut looks set to join the fast growing number of east coast states in the US acquiring energy from offshore windfarms.
On 14 May 2019, the House of Representatives in Connecticut overwhelmingly backed a bill to bring up to 2.0 GW to the state. Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont and Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Commissioner Katie Dykes applauded the vote.
The legislation was approved in the House by 134-10 votes and will now be referred to the State Senate.
Earlier this month, Governor Lamont announced that the State of Connecticut, through the Connecticut Port Authority, and terminal operator Gateway, are partnering with Bay State Wind, a joint venture between Ørsted and Eversource, on a deal that will redevelop State Pier into a port facility for offshore wind.
“Our administration is working hard to put Connecticut in a place to become the hub of the offshore wind industry in New England, and this legislation moves us one step closer to making that a reality,” Governor Lamont said.
Commissioner Dykes said, “This legislation sends an unmistakable signal that Connecticut is poised for historic investment in offshore wind. I applaud the legislature’s support for this bill, and here at DEEP we are looking forward to implementing this policy once it secures final passage.”
The legislation authorises the state to purchase up to 2.0 GW (equivalent to 30% of the state load), the largest authorisation by load of any state in the region. DEEP must initiate a solicitation 14 days after passage of the legislation and set up a future schedule for procurements. The bill also provides for robust competition and selection for best prices while achieving economic development benefits and minimising environmental/fisheries impacts.
Offshore wind developer Vineyard Wind applauded the vote and said if the state selects it to supply power, it will invest “millions of dollars” in revitalising Bridgeport Harbour and its conversion as a logistics hub for constructing its planned 800-MW windfarm off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard.