Massachusetts launches up to 3.6-GW offshore wind solicitation
Source: Ørsted A/S
Massachusetts on Wednesday issued its fourth and largest offshore wind solicitation, seeking to select up to 3,600 MW of offshore wind generation.
The request for proposals (RfP), issued jointly by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and the electric distribution companies, invites proposals ranging from 200 MW to 2,400 MW.
The new procurement round allows for additional flexibility in response to challenges arising from inflation and broader economic trends, with bidders permitted to submit an alternative indexed pricing proposal to mitigate risks both for ratepayers and bidders.
Notably, bidders with a history of terminated contracts can still participate in solicitation to ensure competition. Supply chain issues and rising costs have made some previous contracts unviable.
In addition, flexibility in the RfP schedule is envisaged if tax guidance on the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is announced late in the bid preparation process so that bidders have time to incorporate the guidance and maximise savings for ratepayers.
Under the current proposed timeline, bids are due on January 31, 2024. The selection of projects is planned for June 12, 2024.
“We crafted this RfP to provide flexibility in the procurement process and secure the greatest advantages for Massachusetts, including benefits to environmental justice populations and low-income ratepayers, and opportunities for diversity, equity and inclusion in workforce development,” said DOER commissioner Elizabeth Mahony.
Approval from the Department of Public Utilities’ (DPU) for the RfP was secured on August 23. A draft with the DPU was filed in May.
The RfP can be seen here - https://macleanenergy.files.wordpress.com/2023/08/83c-rd4-rfp-8.30.2023.pdf.