Governor Gina Raimondo has announced that Rhode Island will pursue a competitive request for proposals (RfP) to procure up to 600 MW of new offshore wind capacity
The state is home to North America’s first operational offshore windfarm, Block Island, and in 2019 approved the 400-MW Revolution Wind offshore project.
This latest effort is in line with Governor Raimondo’s Executive Order 20-01, which placed Rhode Island on a path toward meeting 100% of its electricity demand with renewable energy resources by 2030.
A draft RfP will be filed with state regulators shortly. If approved, a final RfP is anticipated to be issued to the marketplace in early 2021.
Any contracts for offshore wind projects resulting from this competitive process will also require separate regulatory approvals.
“In the face of global climate change, Rhode Island must drive towards a cleaner, more affordable and reliable clean energy future,” said Governor Raimondo.
“It is critical that we accelerate our adoption of carbon-free resources to power our homes and businesses, while creating clean energy jobs. In January, I set a nation-leading goal for Rhode Island to meet 100% of its electricity demand with renewables by 2030. Offshore wind will help us achieve that bold, but achievable goal, while creating jobs and cementing our status as a major hub in the nation’s burgeoning offshore wind industry.”
The competitive RfP will be developed by National Grid, with oversight by the state Office of Energy Resources, and is subject to approval by the Public Utilities Commission. As of Q2 2020, Rhode Island counted 933 MW of renewable energy in its portfolio, representing a nine-fold increase since 2016.
State Energy Commissioner Nicholas Ucci said, “Offshore wind is a vitally important renewable resource that will help power our decarbonised future – both here in Rhode Island and throughout New England.
“Offshore wind can also help our electric system meet winter peak demand with stability-priced clean electricity, helping temper power price spikes faced by local homes and businesses.”
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