The Northeast US states of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut on Wednesday announced an agreement to jointly seek proposals for up to 6 GW of offshore wind capacity for selection in 2024 through their respective state procurements.
The Governor of Massachusetts, Maura Healey, announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the three New England states at the American Clean Power Association’s Offshore WINDPOWER Conference in Boston. The announcement notes that this would be the country’s first multistate procurement for offshore wind.
Under the terms of the MoU, any two or three states can pick a multi-state proposal and split the anticipated megawatts and renewable energy certificates from a single project. The proposals cannot exceed each states’ own procurement authority.
Just recently, on August 30, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) issued its fourth and largest offshore wind solicitation, seeking to select up to 3.6 GW. For the first time, it allows Massachusetts to coordinate with other states “if participation has a positive or neutral impact” on ratepayers and is expected to provide other benefits.
In the meantime, Rhode Island Energy is getting ready to invite proposals of about 1.2 GW of new offshore wind capacity later this month, while the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) is working on its final Request for Proposals (RfP) targeting up to 1.2 GW. Connecticut’s RfP is expected to be released in the coming weeks, with an anticipated bid deadline of January 31, 2024.
“By working together, we can amplify the many benefits of offshore wind for all three states, including regional economic development opportunities, healthier communities, lower energy bills, and advantages to environmental justice populations and low-income ratepayers,” commented Governor Healey.
The CEO of sector player Avangrid Inc (NYSE:AGR), Pedro Azagra, commended the governors of the three neighbouring states for agreeing to this collaborative approach.
“At this critical time for the industry in the United States, as well as the rapid acceleration of the climate crisis, this bold procurement strategy rises to the level of urgency the moment demands while providing offshore wind developers an opportunity to leverage economies of scale that will unlock more competitive bids and the potential for greater investments in local development and job creation,” Azagra said.