R.I. Teams with Mass., Conn. in Effort to Attract Offshore Wind Projects
Partnership is first of its kind in the nation
October 5, 2023
PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island has agreed to work with Massachusetts and Connecticut in soliciting bids from offshore wind developers in a first-of-its-kind effort to attract bigger, more efficient projects.
The three states signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Tuesday, agreeing to seek multi-state offshore wind proposals that would “expand benefits for the region and capture cost reductions by developing projects at scale,” according to Gov. Dan McKee’s office. While the three states have joined forces before to seeking transmission funding from the federal government, the MOU is the first such agreement of its kind in the country.
The three states hope that by combining their efforts to attract wind projects to the region, they will “foster regional economic development, create high-paying, in-demand jobs, and promote environmental justice and equity,” according to McKee’s office.
The states are asking developers to submit multi-state project proposals for selection in 2024 for a total of 6,000 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind.
Separately, Massachusetts is seeking proposals for 3,600 MW, and R.I. and Connecticut have opened up proposals for 1,200 MW each. The projects selected will depend on each state’s individual assessments of the proposal’s costs and benefits to ratepayers and other criteria specified in the state’s requests for proposals. According to the MOU, any two states or all three can agree to choose a multi-state proposal and split the megawatts and renewable energy certificates from a single project.
“Offshore wind is an important resource in meeting our Act on Climate and renewable energy goals,” McKee said. “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.”
“The climate crisis requires us to act in new and innovative ways,” said Massachusetts Gov. 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.”
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).
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