Vineyard Wind has been been selected to develop an 800 MW offshore windfarm off Massachusetts and Deepwater Wind is to develop a 400 MW windfarm off Rhode Island.
Vineyard Wind is a partnership between Avangrid Renewables and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP). Final acceptance of the bid and the award of a contract is conditional upon the successful negotiation of the contract and required regulatory approval at the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities.
Deepwater Wind received the 400 MW contract from Rhode Island for its Revolution Wind project as part of the Massachusetts bid. Rhode Island took part in the competitive bidding process conducted by the administration of Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker.
“Today’s announcement brings the Commonwealth one step closer to achieving our administration’s goals of creating a clean, reliable and cost-effective energy future for Massachusetts residents, and significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions to combat climate change,” said Governor Baker.
“By positioning Massachusetts as a hub for the emerging offshore wind industry, this competitive procurement will ensure the Commonwealth continues to lead the nation in innovation and renewable energy generation."
“The procurement of competitively priced and locally produced offshore wind energy will help the Commonwealth reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create economic growth while addressing the needs of our communities,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. "This will allow Massachusetts to capitalise on the economic benefits of an emerging industry, creating high-quality jobs and providing cost-effective power for rate payers.”
"Rhode Island made history when we built the first offshore windfarm in the US," state Governor Gina Raimondo said. "Today, we are doing it again. This new, large-scale offshore wind project will bring clean and low-cost power to Rhode Islanders and further diversify our energy resources, whilst adding good-paying jobs to our growing economy."
"Rhode Island pioneered American offshore wind energy, and it is only fitting that the Ocean State continues to be the vanguard of this growing industry," said Deepwater Wind chief executive Jeff Grybowski.
"We applaud Governor Raimondo for her bold commitment to a clean energy future. We are building a new industry here in Rhode Island while driving down the cost of clean energy. Revolution Wind will mean lots of jobs for Rhode Island and major investments in local infrastructure."
Deepwater Wind will now enter negotiations with National Grid, which will submit a proposed contract to the Public Utilities Commission for regulatory review. The project will also be subject to a federal approval process before it proceeds.
The Vineyard Wind bid in Massachussets was selected based on criteria established under a request for proposals approved by the state. Criteria used in the evaluation of the bids included an economic evaluation of the benefits for rate payers, the project’s ability to foster employment and economic development in the Commonwealth, and the project’s environmental impacts and the extent to which a project demonstrates that it avoids or mitigates impacts to natural resources and tourism. Vineyard Wind was determined to provide the greatest overall value to Massachusetts customers by delivering approximately 800 MW of offshore wind capacity per year while providing substantial ratepayer benefits.
“The procurement of 800 MW of offshore wind energy will significantly help the Commonwealth transition to a diversified energy portfolio and achieve the emissions reductions targets set forth by the Global Warming Solutions Act,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “This announcement is an important milestone in our procurement process to secure the largest amount of renewable energy in Massachusetts’ history, reducing energy costs and strengthening the state’s clean energy economy.”
The deployment of offshore wind will also have a benefit on the Commonwealth’s economy and workforce. A recent report by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center found that the deployment of 1,600 MW of offshore wind is estimated to create between 2,270 and 3,170 job years during construction over the next 10 years and generate between US$675M and US$800M in direct economic output in Massachusetts.
In order to ensure the development of offshore wind off the Massachusetts coast does not negatively impact the environment and the Commonwealth’s fishing industries, the Baker-Polito Administration has supported several offshore wind-related studies and continues to work with a Fisheries Working Group (FWG) created to ensure the commercial and recreational fishing industries are able to provide input into the federal permitting process related to offshore wind.
The administration also communicated with the Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management that the siting process for wind turbines in federal waters must include consideration of natural resources and important marine ecosystems and industries.
The administration will also work with partners and stakeholders to establish a Southern New England Fisheries Science Panel on Offshore Wind. The panel will consist of scientists from New England to assist in the development, collection, evaluation, and peer review of scientific information relevant to the development and operations of the wind and fishing industries and will make recommendations regarding studies, surveys and monitoring that will assess key environmental and industry interaction issues.