Rhode Island Senate passes bill for 600 MW of offshore wind

A picture from Cathie Associates visit to the US’ first commercial offshore wind farm; Block Island.

June 9 (Renewables Now) - The Rhode Island State Senate has approved a new bill that will facilitate the deployment of 600 MW of offshore wind in state waters and bring some changes to the existing law.

Bill 2022-S 2583A will be passed to the House of Representatives, the State of Rhode Island General Assembly announced earlier this week.

The new legislation calls for the state’s main electricity and natural gas supplier Rhode Island Energy to solicit bids for 600 MW of offshore wind capacity that will be added to the state’s power grid. It also sets a new deadline for the market-competitive procurement, to be held by October 15, 2022, instead of August 15, 2022, as initially planned.

Furthermore, the bill wipes off an incentive related to ratepayers participation and also gives the state Public Utilities Commission greater authority to decide on disputed items in the contract between the utility and the developer. The legislation also envisages a publicly transparent application process and sets requirements for offshore wind developers to provide information on potential environmental impacts by submitting environmental and fisheries mitigation plans and estimates of local economic benefits.

The law is in line with the 2021 Act on Climate, which sets climate emissions reduction goals ultimately aiming at net-zero emissions by 2050.

Rhode Island is home to the first US offshore wind farm, the 30-MW Block Island facility, and is also set to receive 400 MW from the Revolution Wind offshore project of Denmark’s Ørsted A/S and US utility Eversource Energy.

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Veselina Petrova is one of Renewables Now's most experienced green energy writers. For several years she has been keeping track of game-changing events both large and small projects and across the globe.

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