Massachusetts electric utility companies have opened their third offshore wind solicitation, releasing a Request for Proposals (RFP) for up to 1,600 MW of offshore wind power, twice the capacity they contracted in the previous rounds.
The Baker administration announced the RFP on Friday, for which confidential bids are due by September 16 and public proposal submission deadline is September 23. The winning bid(s) will be decided by December 17 and the contracts will be filed with the Department of Public Utilities by April 27, 2022. The 140-page document explains that local distribution companies will seek to procure at least 400 MW and up to 1,600 MW of projects. The individual proposals can range from 200 MW to 1,600 MW and the bidding price should not exceed USD 77.76 per MWh, which must be designed to recover all costs associated with the proposal, including but not limited to the cost of Offshore wind energy generation, cost of offshore delivery facilities, cost of network upgrades, and, if applicable, energy storage systems. The evaluation team will consider proposals of at least 200 megawatts, and there is no preferred bid size.
In late March, governor Charlie Baker signed a climate change legislation allowing the state to acquire an additional 2,400 MW of offshore wind by 2027, causing the required authorisation by the said year to rise to 4,000 MW. As part of the legislation, Massachusetts committed to attain net-zero emissions by 2050. The recent offshore solicitations are part of efforts to achieve this goal, including the Vineyard Wind and Mayflower Wind proposals, with a combined capacity of around 1,600 MW, which were approved in the previous two rounds.
In more renewable energy news coming out of the state, Navisun LLC announced last month that it had completed two solar projects in Orange and Sheffield for a total of 3.8 MW of solar power, enough to provide electricity to 600 homes using renewable energy. These plants are also one of the first solar projects in Massachusetts to be awarded the new pollinator adder through the Massachusetts SMART Program.