The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) on Aug. 16 released a request for proposals that seeks up to 2,000 megawatts of offshore wind.
The RFP represents the state’s first solicitation dedicated specifically to offshore wind development and builds off of multi-resource solicitations in 2018 in which Connecticut bought 304 MW of offshore wind from the Revolution Wind project (now owned by Orsted and Eversource), DEEP noted.
There is no minimum amount of offshore wind that DEEP must procure under the RFP and selection decisions will depend on projects demonstrating that they are in the best interest of Connecticut’s ratepayers.
DEEP said it is committed to developing a schedule in its integrated resources plan for future offshore wind procurements authorized under Public Act 19-71, “An Act Concerning the Procurement of Energy Derived from Offshore Wind,” consistent with the state’s and region’s electric needs and carbon reduction targets.
In response to the release of a draft RFP in mid-July, DEEP received over 50 comments and nearly 100 additional comments and emails directed to the Commission on Environmental Standards. DEEP reviewed the comments and made several changes to the final RFP language.
The timeline for DEEP’s RFP aligns with a similar offshore wind solicitation run by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, “enhancing competition and urgency as the production tax credit that benefits wind production sunsets at the end of the year,” DEEP noted.
Bids in response to the DEEP RFP will be due by September 30.
Other states also pursuing offshore wind
Several other states are also pursuing significant amounts of offshore wind.
In June, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities unanimously granted the state’s first award for offshore wind to the Ocean Wind 1,100-megawatt project.
The BPU said that its decision sets the record for the single largest award for offshore wind in the country to date and marks further progress toward meeting the state’s goal of 3,500 MW of offshore wind by 2030, and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s vision of 100 percent clean energy for the state by 2050.
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.
NYPA to lead offshore wind study; LIPA will also have role
A memorandum of understanding was signed in 2018 by New York power agencies and partners to conduct a study of successful offshore wind transmission models, with a specific focus on large-scale European projects.
The New York Power Authority will lead the study and a number of parties, including the Long Island Power Authority, will collaborate with NYPA on the initial phase of the research.
More recently, in what the New York Governor’s office noted was the largest single procurement for renewable energy by a U.S. state, on July 18 New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the selection of contractors for two offshore wind projects with a combined capacity of 1,700 megawatts. The projects are the first in the state’s goal of developing 9,000 MW of offshore wind by 2035.
Meanwhile, Monterey Bay Community Power, a California community choice aggregator, and Castle Wind LLC on Aug. 15 said that they have signed a memorandum of understanding that outlines the mutual interests and intent of both parties to enter into future long-term power purchase agreements for approximately 1,000 megawatts of energy from an offshore wind project being developed by Castle Wind.
The Castle Wind Offshore wind farm project will be located on the Outer Continental Shelf, more than 30 miles from the California coastline in federally managed waters of the Pacific Ocean.
The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is preparing a lease auction for the project site in 2020. If awarded the lease, Castle Wind anticipates producing 1,000 MW of renewable energy around 2025.
In early 2018, another California CCA, the Redwood Coast Energy Authority, offered details on its plans to move forward with what could be the first commercial floating offshore wind farm in the United States.