Powering Strong Communities

Draft RFP in Massachusetts Calls for Procurement of Up to 3,600 MW of Offshore Wind

The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources and investor-owned utilities in the state jointly filed a draft request for proposals with the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, which if approved, will invite submittals for offshore wind generation to procure up to 3,600 megawatts.

The draft RFP’s capacity figure represents 25 percent of the state’s annual electricity demand and a significant increase over a previous procurement, which sought approximately 1,600 MW of offshore wind. This would be the largest procurement for offshore wind energy generation ever in New England.

As drafted, the RFP will allow DOER to consider in its evaluation direct and indirect costs and benefits, environmental and socioeconomic impacts from siting, and diversity, equity, and inclusion plans.

The RFP also allows for additional flexibility in proposals. To account for challenges driven by inflation and other macroeconomic trends, the draft RFP allows bidders to submit an alternative indexed pricing proposal intended to reduce risk to bidders and ratepayers.

The RFP also accounts for the potential for savings resulting from federal tax credits. The RFP requires details on how the bids would utilize applicable tax credits and allows for flexibility in the RFP schedule if IRS program guidance on the Inflation Reduction Act is announced late in the bid preparation timeline.

The procurement team would have flexibility to evaluate bids ranging from 400 MW to 2,400 MW in size, and to select a project or projects that bring significant benefits to the Commonwealth. 

Under the proposed timeline, bids are due January 31, 2024. This proposed timeline allows project developers to incorporate several emerging initiatives, including anticipated federal program guidance on tax credits, federal grants for transmission upgrades, and additional coordination with regional state partners.