Massachusetts issues draft RFP
First call for up to 800MW of offshore projects expected on 30 June
Massachusetts has taken the wraps off plans to solicit up to 800MW in its first call for offshore wind.
A draft request for proposals (RFP) seeks 400MW, but up to 800MW will be considered if the evaluation team determines that a larger-scale proposal is “superior” to other bids.
A larger bid will also be considered if it is likely to produce “significantly more” economic net benefits to ratepayers compared to procuring the additional capacity in a future solicitation.
The draft, which was developed by utilities National Grid, Eversource and Unitel and the state Department of Energy Resources, has been submitted to Massachusetts regulators for approval.
The utilities expect to issue the call on 30 June.
Proposals will be due by 20 December and utilities expect to select projects for negotiation in May 2018.
All proposals must include a scheduled commercial operation date before January 2027, however, the RFP “encourages” bids with power delivery dates as early as reasonably possible to maximize the state’s ability to reach its clean energy goals.
Each utility will enter into a 15- to 20-year contract with the winning bidders for its apportioned share of the energy and/or renewable energy credits.
Copenhagen Offshore Partners, Deepwater Wind and Dong Energy hold lease areas off the coast of Massachusetts.
PNE Wind USA and Statoil have also applied for leases and an auction is expected to be held in early 2018.
The RFP is the first step in the state’s plans to procure 1.6GW by 2027.