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Press Release Department of Public Utilities Approves Offshore Wind Energy Contracts

Approval Moves Forward 804 MW Mayflower Wind Offshore Wind Project
For immediate release:
11/05/2020
  • Department of Public Utilities
  • Electric Power Division

Media Contact for Department of Public Utilities Approves Offshore Wind Energy Contracts

Craig Gilvarg, Press Secretary

BostonThe Department of Public Utilities (DPU) has issued an Order approving long-term contracts for 804 MW of offshore wind between Mayflower Wind and the Commonwealth’s Electric Distribution Companies.  These contracts result from An Act Relative to Energy Diversity, which was signed by Governor Baker in 2016, and will ultimately support economic development along the coast, ensure a resilient energy future for the Commonwealth and secure progress toward greenhouse gas reduction requirements. The project will bring the amount of offshore wind procured by the Commonwealth to approximately 1,600 MW.

“The approval of these contracts furthers the Commonwealth’s development of an offshore wind industry that will create local jobs, spur economic development and provide Massachusetts ratepayers with clean, affordable and resilient energy,” said Governor Charlie Baker

Mayflower Wind’s bid to develop an offshore wind facility was selected for contract negotiation in October 2019 based on criteria established under a Request for Proposals (RFP) that was previously subject to public comment, and approved by the DPU after review by an independent evaluator on May 17, 2019. 

Criteria used in the evaluation of the bids included an economic evaluation of the benefits for ratepayers, the project’s ability to provide enhanced electric reliability, the project’s ability to foster employment and economic development in the Commonwealth, and the project’s mitigation of environmental impacts. As a result of a stringent review, Mayflower Wind was determined to provide the greatest overall value to Massachusetts customers by delivering approximately 800 MW of offshore wind capacity per year while providing substantial ratepayer benefits.  The DPU’s Order approved the selection and found that these contracts are cost-effective as well as in the public interest.

“This approval ensures that the Commonwealth’s second offshore wind project offering cost-effective and locally produced clean energy can move forward,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. “The Baker-Polito Administration’s efforts to grow the Commonwealth’s clean energy portfolio is key to achieving net zero emissions by 2050.”

At a total levelized price of 7.8 cents/kilowatt hour in nominal dollars, this project is expected to provide approximately 0.1% to 1.8% savings on customer’s monthly energy bills, all other bill impacts remaining equal. Overall, the total net benefits, including both direct and indirect benefits, to Massachusetts ratepayers over the life of the contract are expected to be approximately $2.4 billion.

Additionally, the contracts include a $77.5 million commitment to support the offshore wind industry, scientific research, and economic development in Massachusetts and the South Coast, including:

  • $55 million to MassCEC for the creation of an Offshore Wind Development Fund that will fund port and infrastructure upgrades, workforce training, innovation seed funding, and applied research
  • $10 million for marine science and fisheries research
  • $7.5 million for port upgrades
  • $5 million for low-income strategic electrification with Cape Light Compact (CLC)

“These contracts will provide clean fuel diversification to the Commonwealth and improve reliability,” said Department of Public Utilities Chairman Matthew Nelson. “Importantly, this Order protects the Commonwealth’s ratepayers and ensures they will be provided clean, low-cost energy for years to come.”

This Order continues the Baker-Polito Administration’s ongoing efforts to grow the Commonwealth’s clean energy economy and meet the Administration’s ambitious commitment to achieving net zero emissions by 2050. In an effort to take bold action to address the Commonwealth’s climate impact, the Administration has, to date, secured 9,450,000 MWh of hydroelectric energy and 1,600 MW of offshore wind energy. In 2018, following a report by the Department of Energy Resources that found additional procurements of offshore wind would benefit the Commonwealth, the Baker-Polito Administration increased the state’s overall offshore wind commitment to 3200 MW by 2035.

In August 2020, the Department of Energy Resources launched the first-in-the-nation Clean Peak Energy Standard (CPS) a financial incentive program that promotes the use of clean energy technologies during periods of high, carbon intensive, and expensive electricity demand. The administration’s solar incentive program, Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART), will support an additional 1,600 MW of solar in Massachusetts, nearly doubling the amount installed as of today at half the estimated pricing of prior programs.

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Media Contact for Department of Public Utilities Approves Offshore Wind Energy Contracts

Department of Public Utilities 

The Department of Public Utilities (DPU) oversees investor-owned electric power, natural gas, and water companies in Massachusetts. In addition, the DPU regulates the safety of bus companies, moving companies, and transportation network companies. We also oversee the safety of natural gas pipelines.

Electric Power Division 

The mission of the Electric Power Division is to ensure that electric distribution companies in Massachusetts provide their customers with the most reliable resource at the lowest possible cost. EPD also oversees and implements initiatives that encourage clean and renewable energy.
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