June 30 (Renewables Now) - The Massachusetts utilities on Thursday issued their request for proposals (RfP) to sign long term-contracts for 400 MW and potentially up to 800 MW of offshore wind generation.
National Grid, Eversource and Unitil issued the RfP in coordination with the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER). This is the initial solicitation as part of a staggered schedule for the procurement of 1.6 GW of offshore wind by June 30, 2027 as required by legislation adopted by the state last year.
Bidders should submit at least one proposal of 400 MW and may also submit alternative proposals with a capacity of at least 200 MW and up to 800 MW. Offers are due by December 20, with interested parties required to submit a notice of intent to bid by July 26. The expected date for selecting projects is April 23, 2018 and for signing the long-term contracts July 2 the same year.
The timetable has been shortened compared to the proposed RfP to enhance the potential for selected projects to qualify for higher 2018 federal tax credits.
Three offshore wind developers have leases to build projects in the federal waters off Massachusetts -- Dong Energy A/S (CPH:DENERG); Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), which was joined in the Vineyard Wind development by Avangrid Renewables, part of Iberdrola (BME:IBE); and Deepwater Wind LLC. Dong is developing the Bay State Wind project off the coast of Martha's Vineyard together with Eversource Energy (NYSE:ES).