Distributed Energy Resources

Reading Municipal Light Department Gets Green Light To Participate In Offshore Wind Bid

Reading Municipal Light Department’s (RMLD) Citizens’ Advisory Board (CAB) and Board of Commissioners approved the Massachusetts utility's participation in the Commonwealth Wind bid proposal for offshore wind that is under consideration by Massachusetts, RMLD reported on Nov. 19.

Announced in October, Commonwealth Wind is a first of its kind partnership between Vineyard Wind and Energy New England (ENE), which is representing 20 participating Massachusetts Municipal Light Plants (MLPs), including RMLD. It is the first time MLPs were allowed to bid for Massachusetts offshore wind power.

If awarded, the Commonwealth Wind portion will be a part of the larger Vineyard Wind project proposed in an area 22 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard that was designated by the federal government in 2015 following a multi-year stakeholder process.

The Commonwealth Wind bid proposal is for 25 megawatts -- or 146,000 megawatt hours per year (the maximum available to the MLPs) -- plus the associated non-carbon certificates.

If the Commonwealth Wind bid is selected, RMLD’s share will represent less than 1% of its total annual power supply needs.

Massachusetts is managing the bid process and plans to announce bid winners by December 17.

“The RMLD envisions this first potential foot in the door as an opportunity for MLPs to gain more opportunities for future wind proposals to help meet decarbonization goals in the Climate Bill,” said Coleen O’Brien, RMLD General Manager.

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