A bid from developer Vineyard Wind has been selected to advance to contract negotiations with Connecticut's electric distribution companies to provide 804 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind through the development of the Park City Wind Project, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) said on Dec. 5.
The bid was selected through a competitive request for proposals (RFP) that DEEP conducted. The resulting contracts will be subject to review and approval by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA).
The selection of the project, which will provide the equivalent of 14% of the state’s electricity supply, represents the largest purchase of renewable energy in Connecticut’s history. It will more than double the amount of new zero-carbon renewable energy procured by DEEP to date.
The Park City Wind project was offered at a price lower than any other publicly announced offshore wind project in North America, although DEEP did not provide specifics on pricing.
This is the state’s third procurement with offshore wind as a competitive resource, and the first procurement specifically focused on offshore wind. In 2018, DEEP selected a total of 304 MW of offshore wind from Revolution Wind developed by Ørsted and Eversource.
In June 2019, DEEP initiated a proceeding to release an RFP within days of enactment of a state law that authorized DEEP to procure up to 2,000 megawatts of offshore wind power.
DEEP consulted with the Office of Consumer Counsel, Attorney General’s Office, procurement manager at PURA, and Connecticut’s electric distribution companies, Eversource and United Illuminating. The final RFP was issued on August 16, 2019. On October 30, 2019, DEEP received more than 30 bid variants from three different developers in response to the RFP.
Vineyard Wind’s Park City Wind project was selected from those bids.
DEEP completed its procurement process in record time, to capture lower pricing as a result of federal tax incentives set to expire in 2019, it said.
The Park City Wind project will now enter into contract negotiations with the state’s two electric utilities, The United Illuminating Company and Eversource Energy, for a contract with a 20-year term.
Developer files application for offshore wind transmission system
In recent offshore wind news, offshore transmission developer Anbaric filed an application with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) for non-exclusive rights-of-way to develop the Southern New England OceanGrid, an open-access offshore transmission system designed to maximize the region’s offshore wind resources.
Once approved by BOEM, the transmission network on the Outer Continental Shelf would link the existing wind lease areas via a common system and deliver that power to the on-shore grid.
Other states pursuing offshore wind
Along with Connecticut, several other states are pursuing offshore wind.
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority recently finalized contracts with Equinor Wind US LLC for its 816-megawatt Empire Wind Project and Sunrise Wind LLC for its 880-megawatt Sunrise Wind Project, both of which are offshore wind projects.
Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo in May 2018 said that the state had selected Deepwater Wind to construct a new, 400-MW offshore wind farm.
Meanwhile, Mayflower Wind Energy LLC, a joint venture of Shell New Energies US LLC and EDPR Offshore North America LLC, was recently chosen to supply 804 megawatts of energy from an offshore wind project to electricity customers within the state.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Nov. 19 signed an executive order raising New Jersey’s offshore wind goal from 3,500 megawatts of offshore wind-generated electricity by 2030 to 7,500 MW by 2035.
The executive order will deliver renewable energy generation needed to help meet the state’s goals of 50 percent renewable energy by 2030.