Massachusetts Approves Contracts for 800-Megawatt Mayflower Offshore Wind Project
The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities on Nov. 5 approved long-term contracts executed by the state’s electric distribution companies to purchase offshore wind power from Mayflower Wind Energy LLC’s 804-megawatt project, which was selected in the state’s second round of offshore wind solicitation last year. The project is expected to provide about 0.1 to 1.8 percent savings on customer’s monthly energy bills, at a levelized price of 7.8 cents per kilowatt hour in nominal dollars, with other bill impacts remaining equal. The total net benefits for ratepayers over the 20-year contract term is estimated at $2.4 billion.
The project opens significant opportunities to develop the local supply chain and jobs with a commitment of $77.5 million to support economic development and scientific research in the state and the South Coast, including $55 million to MassCEC to establish an Offshore Wind Development Fund.
Following the selection of Mayflower Wind, a joint venture of Shell New Energies US LLC and EDPR Offshore North America LLC, in the competitive solicitation held in November 2019, the distribution companies – Unitil Corp., National Grid plc, and Eversource Energy – negotiated contracts, which were submitted for review and approval by the department in February.
The approval fulfills the requirement under a 2016 law, which directed the state to secure 1.6 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2027. The first solicitation resulted in 20-year contracts with the 800 megawatt Vineyard Wind project, co-owned by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and Iberdrola SA’s Avangrid Renewables.
Based on the Department of Energy Resources report finding that additional offshore wind procurements would benefit the state, in 2018 the Baker-Polito administration increased the state’s commitment to 3200 megawatts by 2035.