The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) has issued an order approving long-term contracts for 804 MW of offshore wind between Mayflower Wind and the state’s electric distribution companies.
These contracts result from An Act Relative to Energy Diversity, which was signed by Gov. Charlie Baker in 2016, and will ultimately support economic development along the coast, ensure a resilient energy future for the state and secure progress toward greenhouse gas reduction requirements. The project will bring the amount of offshore wind procured to approximately 1,600 MW.
“The approval of these contracts furthers Massachusetts’ development of an offshore wind industry that will create local jobs, spur economic development and provide Massachusetts ratepayers with clean, affordable and resilient energy,” says 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 in May 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 state, 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. 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.
Photo: Gov. Charlie Baker
Original source: North American Wind Power