Distributed Energy Resources

Massachusetts Taps Offshore Wind Project That Will Supply Energy to Public Power Utilities

Massachusetts officials recently announced the selection of an offshore wind project that includes a partnership between Vineyard Wind, the developer, and Energy New England (ENE), which is representing 20 participating Massachusetts Municipal Light Plants (MLPs) including Reading Municipal Light Department (RMLD).

The partnership will allow MLPs to purchase offshore wind power for the first time, an opportunity that will green the portfolios of MLPs across the state, RMLD said.

Under the agreement, MLPs will be able to purchase up to 32 megawatts (MW) or approximately 146,000 megawatt hours (adjusting for capacity availability for offshore wind) per year, plus the associated non-carbon certificates -- specifically, renewable energy credits (RECs).

Announced in October, Commonwealth Wind is a first of its kind partnership between Vineyard Wind and ENE. It is the first time MLPs were allowed to bid for Massachusetts offshore wind power.

The Vineyard Wind project is one of two offshore wind projects that will now move forward to contract negotiations.

The selected projects include a 400 MW proposal from Mayflower Wind and a 1,200 MW proposal from Vineyard Wind. The Mayflower Wind and Vineyard Wind bids were selected for contract negotiations based on criteria established under a Request for Proposal (RFP) released in May 2021.

Established in 1894, RMLD is a Massachusetts public power utility serving over 70,000 residents in the towns of Reading, North Reading, Wilmington, and Lynnfield Center. RMLD has more than 30,000-meter connections within its service territory. 

ENE is a wholesale risk management and energy trading organization serving the needs of public power utilities in New England.