State opens up fourth wind solicitation

A virtual rendering of the SouthCoast Wind offshore wind farm. —Courtesy SouthCoast Wind

The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources issued a Request for Proposals for Massachusetts’ fourth and largest offshore wind solicitation to date on Wednesday, August 30. 

Gov. Maura Healey’s office, in a press release, announced that the latest bid request will more than double the commonwealth’s current wind power solicited compared to previous procurements.

The request for proposal (RFP) invites submittals for offshore wind generation to select up to 3,600 megawatts, which represents 25 percent of the state’s annual electricity demand; Healey’s office says it is the largest procurement for offshore wind energy generation ever in New England. 

Bidders can offer proposals of between 200 MW and 2400 MW. 

“Our administration continues to build a robust, sustainable offshore wind industry, and we are excited to issue this historic RFP, the largest yet in our region,” said Healey. “With this RFP, Massachusetts is continuing on our path to be a global leader in this growing industry. With our top academic institutions, robust workforce training programs, innovative companies, and support from every level of government — Massachusetts is all-in on offshore wind.” 

The bid request comes as some developers are seeking new contracts with the state, amid supply chain issues and inflation. Commonwealth Wind and SouthCoast Wind, both off the Vineyard coast, have both suggested they may rebid their projects with higher prices in the next procurement round. On Tuesday, SouthCoast wind agreed to pay $60 million to terminate its contracts to produce some 1,200 megawatts of offshore wind power.

State House News reports that the Healey administration says the new RFP “does not limit eligibility” based on a bidder’s history, but the track record would be considered. 

The governor’s office says the request allows for additional flexibility in proposals. To account for challenges driven by inflation and other macroeconomic trends, the RFP permits bidders to submit an alternative indexed pricing proposal intended to reduce risk to ratepayers and bidders. 

The release from the governor’s office says the RFP makes clear that more weight is given to projects with robust economic development proposals supporting minority- and women-owned businesses and supporting low-income workers, workers of color, and workers from impacted environmental justice communities. 

Projects must also develop an environmental and fisheries mitigation plan that considers commercial, recreational, and indigenous fishing rights. 

 Bids are due Jan. 31, 2024. The state intends to select a bidder in June of next year.


  1. No ugly wind mills!
    Drill rigs, production platforms, pipe lines to bring the oil ashore, storage tanks, refineries with 7/24 flare stacks, tanker trucks to distribute product.
    So pretty…

    • and none of that oil will ever leak and harm
      anything in the environment.
      The oil industry has a proven track record
      of never spilling a drop of oil.
      So we should really be concerned about a few gallons of lube oil in the nacelles.
      After all, we might get a storm with 300 mph winds that could actually bend the windfarm towers. But —i doubt that a sustained 300 mph wind for 6 hours could move those towers out of plumb by more than an inch.

      • Don, back it down, take a sarcasm chill pill.

        300 mph wind for six hours , all the wind turbines will be on the bottom.
        As would Oil Drill Rigs/Production platforms that would leak black goo for months, think the Deep Water Horizon

        • albert– I got your sarcasm. Too bad you didn’t get mine– about the oil .
          But I’m really not sure those towers would sustain much damage in a 300 mph wind. They are round after all, and 6 inch thick anchored 160 ft into the seabed. I’m sure the blades would come off. But then again, if we are getting 300 mph winds there is no infrastructure anywhere in the area to provide electricity to the completely barren landscape that was the Vineyard.
          Except those burred cables.

        • Albert I get THAT sarcasm..
          You do seem to have a pretty good lock
          for the title of “sarcasm king” but I don’t
          think it’s “exclusive” .

  2. Excellent response, Don!
    Whenever I see windmills offshore or on land, I feel hopeful that mankind is finally starting to turn away from burning fossil fuels, and the planet is FINALLY on the road to recovery. Whenever I see them, I see them as beautiful, majestic, artistic sculptures that are clean, efficient, and non-polluting sources of energy. I see them as symbols of a better future for generations of ALL living things to come.

    • And when I see elites telling people to reduce fossil fuels and regulations to do so, I see hundreds of millions people being reduced in standard of living

      • Where are the hundreds of millions people being reduced in standard of living, by wind/solar?
        Unnamed millions?
        Will the windmills lower the Island’s standard of living.
        Russia has essentially no windmill/solar.
        Is that why their standard of living is so high?

        • The usual flashing red lights that are on structures indicating a hazard to navigation.
          I am sure that you have seen them on things like smokestacks, radio towers and bridges.
          There is nothing quite as pretty as the Morse Code A (white) buoy in Vineyard Sound.

          • Albert– I have researched this one-
            there are 2 red lights on the top of
            each nacelle and three 1/2 of the way
            down. Each with the equivalent of a 20
            watt incandescent bulb. The one’s that
            are 1/2 of the way down will not be visible
            due to the curvature of the earth.
            The lights on the top of the nacelles
            that are 30 miles from the Vineyard will not
            be visible at all.
            The towers are equipped with a motion
            detector, if you will, that only turns the lights
            on when an aircraft gets withing 10 miles.
            The FAA, after analyzing flight data , estimates
            that those lights will be on for less than
            5 hours per year.
            And, you know, those equivalent lights
            on that radio tower near the Falmouth
            Walmart don’t bother me at all– and they
            are only about 5 miles away.

  3. It would be a service to the Vineyard community if there were investigative reporting relative to increase of electrical costs as a result of wind farms. Obviously any reduction of fossil fuels would help to reduce Co2. However, realistically, could we have some investigative reporting on whether there will be any reduction in Co2 globally? Because if our rates increase dramatically above already the highest after Alaska and Hawaii it is a serious consideration. Recently Vineyard Wind was granted increased rate charges and annual re-evaluation of rates. This is in stark contrast and reversal of their original proposal. Are our newspapers even capable of investigative reporting?

    • It would be a service to the Vineyard community if there were investigative reporting that could accurately predict the future.
      When there is no profit to be seen the project stops.
      Just like coal and oil.
      Who gets to decide what is capable of investigative reporting?

  4. For quite a while there was a person here who
    seemed to think that we were burning coal to
    make electricity and then charge our cars with
    this electricity. He referred to electric cars as
    “coal powered cars”. After posting the following
    link a number of times, they seemed to have
    caught on that there is in reality only one coal
    burning facility in New England that produces
    enough coal fired electricity to make it to about
    1.5% the grids’ power for a few days a year.
    This is real time:

    AS of the time of this writing, (3:30 -pm sat sept 2 )
    wind is providing 292 MGWs or about 2.75 % of the
    power we are using. Coal and oil are producing a
    combined total of zero %
    When V.W one comes fully on line it will provide an
    additional 800 MWHs of wind power, which will increase
    the wind’s portion of power up to about 10% of the total.
    That’s a lot of “wind powered cars”
    But, if you don’t like offshore wind power, don’t support it,
    and cut your personal electrical usage by the approximately
    7.25 % of power that will come from this project. And be prepared
    to cut subsequent amounts as more of these offshore
    wind farms come on line.
    You will feel much better, and save some money.

  5. Hess. It took me 19 years to have citizenship and I was given nothing but opportunity. Three universities including Harvard B School and 2 years in Iran PeaceCorps. To pay back. Your haughtiness is not becoming.

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