- Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
- Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources
Media Contact for Project Selected to Increase Offshore Wind Energy in the Commonwealth
BOSTON — The Baker-Polito Administration today announced that Mayflower Wind was selected by the Commonwealth’s Electric Distribution Companies to move forward to contract negotiations to provide 804 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind to Massachusetts as part of the energy procurement authorized by An Act Relative to Energy Diversity, signed by Governor Baker in 2016. Today’s announcement will bring the amount of offshore wind procured under this legislation to approximately 1,600 MW, and further highlights the Commonwealth’s progress towards securing offshore wind economic development while providing Massachusetts ratepayers with clean, affordable and resilient energy.
“With today’s announcement of additional, cost-effective offshore wind energy, the Commonwealth continues to be a national leader in this industry,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Offshore wind is an important component of our administration’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide affordable energy options and we look forward to continuing to develop the Commonwealth’s emerging offshore wind industry in a sustainable manner that benefits all residents.”
“In addition to the benefits to our environment, offshore wind is poised to bring quality jobs and economic opportunities to Massachusetts,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “The selected bid offers competitive pricing that will benefit the state’s ratepayers while developing a renewable, Commonwealth-produced energy resource.”
The Mayflower Wind Project 2 804 MW Low Cost Energy bid was selected for contract negotiations based on criteria established under a Request for Proposal (RFP) including a proposed timetable and method of solicitation previously subject to public comment, and reviewed and approved by the Department of Public Utilities. Criteria used in the evaluation of the bids included an economic evaluation of the benefits for ratepayers, the project’s ability to foster employment and economic development in the Commonwealth, and the project’s environmental impacts and the extent to which a project demonstrates that it avoids or mitigates impacts to regional commercial fisheries. 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.
During the bid process, Mayflower Wind proposed wind energy at a more competitive price with greater economic development opportunities for the Commonwealth and the South Coast than any other bidder.
“The selection of an additional 800 MW of offshore wind energy builds on the Baker-Polito Administration’s significant clean energy investments and will help lower the Commonwealth’s greenhouse gas emissions, mitigate the impacts of climate change, and diversify our energy portfolio,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. “The Administration’s investments in cutting-edge research and development and work to procure local economic benefits will help ensure the Commonwealth is a hub for this growing industry and that Massachusetts workers are leading the way.”
Per statute, a competitive solicitation was announced through issuance of the RFP on May 23, 2019 and revised on August 7, 2019 for projects between approximately 200 MW and 800 MW. The selection of Mayflower Wind concludes a rigorous solicitation and evaluation by the Department of Energy Resources and the Commonwealth’s Electric Distribution Companies; Eversource, National Grid and Unitil. Additionally, the solicitation was monitored by an Independent Evaluator that was jointly chosen by the Department of Energy Resources and the Office of the Attorney General and was responsible for overseeing the process to ensure that all proposals were evaluated in a fair and nondiscriminatory manner.
By selecting Mayflower Wind, the Electric Distribution Companies and the Commonwealth have reached the initial procurement target of approximately 1,600 MW from the Energy Diversity Act of 2016, which added a new Section 83C to the Green Communities Act. The first procurement resulted in executed and approved contracts with the Vineyard Wind 1 project for 800 MW, one of the first large procurements in the United States of offshore wind. The combined energy output of the selected projects under Section 83C represents approximately 12 percent of total Massachusetts annual energy demand.
As directed through An Act to Advance Clean Energy, Chapter 227 of the Acts of 2018, the Department of Energy Resources released an Offshore Wind Study that recommended and authorized the Electric Distribution Companies to proceed with additional offshore wind solicitations for up to an additional 1,600 MW of offshore wind and enter into contracts if found to be cost-effective at the time of solicitation. These additional solicitations should utilize a staggered procurement schedule with 800 MW solicitations to allow for projects to be evaluated as energy and Renewable Portfolio Standards markets change, while capturing economies of scale and anticipated declines in cost.
“Offshore wind continues to be a significant resource for clean electricity and a major component of the Commonwealth clean electricity policy,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson. “Offshore wind adds to our diverse clean electric portfolio and provides progress towards a clean, affordable and resilient energy future.”
The final acceptance of the bid and award of contract is conditional upon successful contract negotiations between the parties and the regulatory approval at the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU). At the time of contract filing with the DPU, a public filing will be provided by the Electric Distribution Companies detailing the evaluation process. Separately, the Independent Evaluator will prepare and submit a detailed public report on the evaluation process and outcome. Final project selection as a result of successful contract negotiations will be made public following submittal for regulatory approval. More information on the selected project, process, and timeline can be found here.
This announcement builds upon the Baker-Polito Administration’s ongoing efforts to grow the Commonwealth’s clean energy economy and meet our greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. In August 2016, Governor Baker signed into law bipartisan comprehensive energy diversification legislation requiring utilities to competitively solicit and contract for approximately 1,600MW of offshore wind and approximately 1,200MW of clean energy. Under Governor Baker’s filed environmental bond bill, DOER was directed to create a new clean peak standard for electricity suppliers to increase the usage of clean energy 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.