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Strong Interest in NE Wind Solicitation as Ørsted, Avangrid, CIP Bid

offshore wind energy
New England's multi-state solistication is getting strong interest before today's closing (Avangrid)

Published Mar 27, 2024 3:54 PM by The Maritime Executive

 

Experts are predicting strong participation in the New England regional offshore wind energy solicitation due to close today. Announced in October 2023, the program coordinated the next phase of wind energy projects between Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island and was designed to counter some of the pressures that slowed the industry’s progress in 2023. 

Where companies including Ørsted were moving to withdraw from projects and canceling power purchase agreements in 2023, the same companies are now aggressively bidding for the next round of projects. Ørsted, Avangrid, and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners each announced their entries citing a long list of regional benefits and planned investments. 

Reuters was quoting experts saying that other companies were likely to enter bids today. Engie is expected to make a proposal according to Reuters. Both BP and EDP are also in a position to possibly submit proposals. The regional, multi-state solicitation calls for as much as 6.8 GW of wind energy capacity.

Ørsted

Ørsted publicly announced the details of its proposal launching a new project called Starboard Wind which would work with Connecticut. They are proposing a project with a capacity of 1,184 MW which they said would provide the equivalent of power for 600,000 homes in Connecticut. They are promising the project with a long list of touted benefits for the state and its economy including saying it would result in more than 800 full-time jobs. 

The project would expand the use of the New London State Pier for staging and assembly. The company highlights it has already invested more than $100 million in infrastructure improvements to redevelop the New London State Pier and says it would further the efforts to support this project if it is selected.

Ørsted highlights that with its partner Eversource they are currently building Revolution Wind, Connecticut’s first offshore wind farm, and marshaling the project out of State Pier. They are saying that Starboard Wind would build on Revolution Wind’s investments and accomplishments and advance the state toward its goal of 100 percent clean energy by 2040.

Onshore construction is underway for the 704 MW Revolution Wind project, with offshore construction to begin in the coming months. Revolution Wind will deliver 304 MW of offshore wind power to Connecticut and another 400 MW to Rhode Island, powering more than 350,000 New England homes. The project is expected to be in operation in 2025.

Avangrid

Avangrid, part of the Iberdrola Group, countered by submitting multiple proposals both for the regional approach as well as in the single-state procurements in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. Repositioning for the multi-state approach, the company is rechristening its Park City Wind project as New England Wind with two phases. The first project would have a capacity of 791 MW and they highlight it is advanced in the federal approval process making it shovel-ready. The second phase would have a capacity of 1,080 MW. They said the new names reflect the regional approach to the industry offering a total of 1,870 MW.

New England 1 would be 30 miles south of Barnstable, Massachusetts, and border Vineyard Wind 1 which the group already has under construction. They are highlighting the project would provide power for approximately 400,000 homes and create more than 4,400 full-time jobs. As part of the project, Avangrid reports it has entered into an agreement with the City of Boston as the first to provide 15 MW of offshore wind power to the city. New England Wind 2 is the new name for the Commonwealth Wind project.

They highlight the use of the marshaling facility in Salem, Massachusetts, and their lease with Crowley Maritime as the facility’s anchor tenant. They are also saying they would utilize the New Bedford Foss Marine Terminal for construction logistics. They would also be using a purpose-built SOV from Edison Chouest Offshore and crew transfer vessels with one built locally by Patriot Offshore Maritime Services. 

Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners

Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners which manage funds that hold the leases and for which Vineyard Offshore serves as U.S. development partner reported that it is entering proposals in each of the state solicitations and an overall arching regional proposal for the multi-state approach. The group which is developing Vineyard Wind 1 reports it submitted a proposal for a 1,200 MW capacity project for the New England grid, providing enough to power more than 650,000 homes, starting in 2031.

There project would be 29 miles south of Nantucket with its export cable making landfall in New London, Connecticut. Among the benefits they highlight would also be the use of the Salem Offshore Wind Terminal for staging while O&M would be based at the New Bedford Foss Marine Terminal. The company say its proposal would support 3,800 job-years of employment across New England and source materials locally including secondary steel components for foundations from Rhode Island.

Last week, the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced it was moving forward on the review of Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners’ Vineyard North project which would be over 2 GW of wind power.

Ocean Winds, the partnership between Engie and EDP, is developing SouthCoast Wind off Massachusetts which would have a capacity of 2.4 GW and likely to also enter a bid.

Analysts are encouraged by the strong interest emerging in the New England solicitation. They said it demonstrates the industry is regaining momentum after the financial and supply chain challenges emerged in 2023.