Published on Wednesday, October 04, 2023
This agreement creates a pathway for a potential multistate procurement for offshore wind – the first of its kind in the United States
PROVIDENCE – Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut today announced New England’s first offshore wind multi-state coordination memorandum of understanding (MOU), which creates a pathway for a potential coordinated selection of offshore wind as each state solicits offshore wind energy generation through their respective state procurements. This MOU is the first of its kind in the United States.
Through this MOU, the three states will together seek multi-state offshore wind proposals that would expand benefits for the region, capture cost reductions by developing projects at scale, and develop into viable projects. In coordinating, the states will amplify efforts to foster regional economic development, create high-paying, in-demand jobs, and promote environmental justice and equity.
The three states request that offshore wind developers submit multi-state offshore wind project proposals for consideration by the soliciting parties through their respective offshore wind procurements for selection in 2024. Combined, the states’ solicitations are for up to 6,000 MW of offshore wind. Actual project selections will depend on states’ individual assessments of proposals’ costs and benefits to ratepayers and other evaluation criteria specified in states’ requests for proposals. Any two or three states may agree to select a multi-state proposal(s) up to each states’ procurement authority and split the anticipated megawatts and renewable energy certificates from a single project.
“The climate crisis requires us to act in new and innovative ways. Massachusetts is proud to join with our neighboring states to continue to grow New England’s offshore wind industry,” said Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey. “By working together, we can amplify the many benefits of offshore wind for all three states, including regional economic development opportunities, healthier communities, lower energy bills, and advantages to environmental justice populations and low-income ratepayers.”
“Offshore wind is an important resource in meeting our Act on Climate and renewable energy goals,” said Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee. “Regional collaboration through this three states MOU will not only help in advancing offshore wind projects of large scale by securing cost-effective energy prices for ratepayers – but it also provides a significant opportunity for long-term economic development that the offshore wind industry will bring to the three states.”
“We can go further when we work together, and I’m excited to be collaborating with our neighbors in Massachusetts and Rhode Island on this MOU, which opens up the potential for us to procure clean energy from offshore wind together at more competitive and affordable rates, for the benefit of the residents and businesses in our respective states,” Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont said.
The multi-state coordination MOU is an agreement between the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER), the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP), and the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources (OER). The MOU can be found at the following respective State Energy Office websites: Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.
States Offshore Wind Procurement Background Information
On August 30, 2023, DOER, with the Massachusetts electric distribution companies, jointly issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for Massachusetts’ fourth and largest offshore wind solicitation to date. The RFP establishes a transparent, predictable, and competitive procurement process to invite, evaluate, and select up to 3,600 MW of offshore wind generation proposals. For the first time, the solicitation allows the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to coordinate with other states if participation has a positive or neutral impact on Massachusetts ratepayers and would provide other benefits, including but not limited to project viability and economic development.
Rhode Island Energy is in the process of developing an Offshore Wind RFP under the state’s Affordable Clean Energy Security Act. Rhode Island Energy will be seeking proposals of approximately 1,200 megawatts of new offshore wind capacity in October. The RFP is expected to be posted in mid to late-October, with information posted at the following Rhode Island Energy procurements here.
On July 25, 2023, DEEP released a draft Request for Proposals for Offshore Wind Facilities. DEEP is currently developing its final RFP, which will be released in the coming weeks, with an anticipated bid deadline of January 31, 2024. Consistent with past practice, DEEP is seeking offshore wind project proposals for up to the agency’s full remaining procurement authority (1,196 MW) for new offshore wind under Conn. Gen. Stat. § 16a-3n. More information is available on DEEP’s Energy Filings page under the “2023 Offshore Wind Procurement” proceeding. The final RFP will also be posted at this location.