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Bids in for Massachusetts offshore

Bay State Wind, Vineyard Wind and Deepwater Wind in for 800MW call

Bids in for Massachusetts offshore image

Three developers have submitted bids to authorities in Massachusetts to develop up to 800MW of offshore wind capacity off the coast of the US state.

The Bay State Wind partnership between Orsted and Eversource has submitted a bid including a 55MW battery storage project.

The other bids have been received from Deepwater Wind and from the Vineyard Wind joint venture between Avangrid Renewables and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners.

Bay State Wind said its project would create up to 1200 new jobs during construction and up to 10,800 direct and indirect jobs over the life of the wind farm.

The development of the wind farm would also result in $1bn direct investment in Massachusetts, as well as generating $30m in lease payments, fees and taxes over the project’s lifetime. 

Orsted North America president Thomas Brostrøm said: “Bay State Wind is the most experienced, dependable partner to help Massachusetts realise its ambitions of becoming the hub for offshore wind development in North America.

“The partnership between Orsted and Eversource brings together local experience, international expertise and unbeatable financial strength.”

The two companies added that the project would also support the construction of the first purpose-built Jones Act-compliant installation and transportation vessels.

New Bedford would serve as the staging area for construction and the operations and maintenance base throughout the lifetime of the wind farm, they added.

Vineyard Wind chief development officer Erich Stephens said: “Vineyard Wind is confident that its proposal to start building Massachusetts’ first offshore wind project in 2019 is the right approach for local residents and businesses eager to reap the abundant environmental and economic benefits that are associated with large-scale renewable and sustainable wind energy.”

The JV has submitted applications with the US Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, and the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities’ Energy Facilities Siting Board to construct an 800MW project approximately 24km south of Martha’s Vineyard.

Vineyard Wind said by filing for permits, it is on track to complete the permitting process in time to begin construction in 2019.

Deepwater Wind’s Revolution Wind proposal is partnering with National Grid to provide a transmission system, and with FirstLight Power’s hydro pumped storage facility in Northfield to offer peak power when needed.

Deepwater Wind chief executive Jeff Grybowski said: “Our offshore wind solution can replace power plants of prior generations that are now retiring. 

“Plus, building an offshore transmission backbone that multiple offshore wind projects can connect to over the coming years means we’re building a smart system that won’t duplicate costs from multiple projects.”

The company has already submitted a proposal for an initial 144MW phase, a decision on which is expected next month. The new proposal could be built at various sizes up to 400MW in the first phase, Deepwater Wind said.

This transmission network would be scalable up to 1.6GW, it added.

If approved, local construction work on Revolution Wind would start in 2022, with the project operational in 2023, Deepwater Wind said.

Massachusetts distribution companies and the state Department of Energy Resources will evaluate and rank the bids. One or more winner will be selected in April.

The state plans to install 1.6GW by 2027 and will hold a second solicitation in 2019.

Image: Orsted

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