Bids submitted for offshore wind projects off Vineyard

The bids include Vineyard Wind 2 and New England Wind.

The yellow area on the map is where New England Wind is proposed to be built. —Courtesy of BOEM

Following more than a year of tumult in the industry that called into question the future of offshore wind in New England, Massachusetts and its southern neighbors on Wednesday got the menu of options for the next phase of clean energy development.

Massachusetts is seeking as much as 3,600 megawatts of offshore wind capacity in its fourth procurement round, its biggest procurement ever. And through a tri-state partnership with Rhode Island and Connecticut, Massachusetts and its neighbors are planning to coordinate their selections for a combined 6,000 MW of offshore wind energy capacity, leading to the possibility of multistate projects, although the newly submitted bids in the aggregate fall short of reaching that 6,000 MW threshold.

The latest round of bids comes after Massachusetts and other states in the Northeast went backward on offshore wind over the past year and a half. Both projects selected in Massachusetts’ last procurement became much more expensive as inflation took off and the war in Ukraine snarled supply chains, and the developers behind them paid multimillion-dollar fines to back out of the contracts they had agreed to. Both projects were rebid in some form Wednesday, and are expected to come with a higher price to ratepayers.

By Wednesday’s noon deadline, Massachusetts received proposals from three developers who also submitted their proposals for the multistate solicitation: Vineyard Offshore, Avangrid Renewables, and SouthCoast Wind. 

At their maximum, the projects that were bid to Massachusetts on Wednesday would represent a cumulative 4,270 MW of capacity. The developer Orsted also bid a 1,184-MW project to Rhode Island and Connecticut, making approximately 5,454 MW available for the multistate effort.

“The Healey-Driscoll administration will review bids over the coming months, and coordinate with Connecticut and Rhode Island to evaluate multistate projects that would increase benefits for the region, lower costs, and enhance project viability,” state Department of Energy Resources (DOER) Commissioner Elizabeth Mahony said. “Massachusetts is committed to growing its offshore wind industry, which will spur our clean energy transition and provide renewable, affordable power to our homes and businesses, and we are excited to move forward on this process.”

The bids submitted Wednesday provide a snapshot of where things stand with the offshore wind industry and the region’s quest to transition away from fossil fuels. But they also make clear that there is a long way still to go in that transition. The three developers that submitted bids to Massachusetts said their projects could start to deliver power in 2029 (Avangrid), 2030 (SouthCoast Wind), and 2031 (Vineyard Offshore) — at least five and as many as seven years from now.

Another key question — how much more expensive than the last projects selected (and then canceled) will the next projects be? — will not be answered at least until a project or projects are selected for contract negotiations in August. The companies submitted detailed pricing information, but they are allowed to redact many details around pricing and project specifics from the public versions of their bid documents.

“The multistate offshore wind bids unsealed today are a major milestone in the Northeast’s transition from fossil fuels to clean renewable energy. We must build offshore wind if we are going to have an economy powered by clean electricity for our cars, our homes, our businesses, and our industries. Without offshore wind, there is no clean electric future,” Kate Sinding Daly, senior vice president of law and policy at the Conservation Law Foundation, said. “If we are going to abate climate change, improve our health, clean our air and water, major offshore wind projects like those envisioned here for Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut have to become reality.”

The bids will be evaluated by a group led by DOER, and which includes the utilities required to buy the cleaner power (National Grid, Eversource, and Unitil), the Executive Office of Economic Development, and an independent consulting firm. The state’s request for proposals spelled out what the evaluation team will consider: a quantitative evaluation of the project’s cost and energy market impacts, and a qualitative evaluation that assigns points to bids based on economic development potential, environmental and fisheries impact, and support for low-income ratepayers.

Massachusetts projects, or a project, are to be selected for contract negotiations by August 7; the long-term contracts are to be executed by Oct. 9, and submitted for Department of Public Utilities approval by Nov. 13.

The trio of states will have discretion to cover their entire procurement authority with a multi-state project, or instead to combine single-state and multistate projects within their allowable capacity, according to the memorandum of understanding. Any two of the states can select a multistate offshore wind bid with power capacity up to their maximum procurement authority, opening the possibility of a Massachusetts-Connecticut wind project, or a Rhode Island–Connecticut wind project, or a project that would deliver clean power to all three states.


Vineyard Wind 2

Vineyard Offshore, one of the companies behind the Vineyard Wind 1 project that represents the only offshore wind currently in the Massachusetts pipeline, announced Wednesday morning that it submitted a proposal for a 1,200-MW Vineyard Wind 2 project, which it said could start delivering power in 2031. The company said it offered the project to Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut individually, and to the three states together under the joint solicitation process.

The Vineyard Wind 2 project would be developed in a lease area about 29 miles south of Nantucket, to the south and east of the Vineyard Wind 1 project. It would use Salem as its offshore construction staging site, get steel components for foundations from a Providence-based company, connect into the New England grid in Montville, Conn., and run its operations and maintenance from New Bedford, the company said. It’s designed to produce enough power for more than 650,000 homes.

“Vineyard Wind 2 has been conceived with a focus on deliverability, achieved by mitigating supply-chain risks, maximizing potential federal tax credits, utilizing a robust delivery point, and leveraging New England’s port infrastructure,” the company said in its bid. “With construction as well as operations and maintenance (O&M) activities based in Massachusetts, secondary steel fabrication in Rhode Island, and a delivery point in Connecticut, Vineyard Wind 2 offers the region the most economical project configuration possible, while advancing the commonwealth’s ambition to be a global leader in offshore wind.”

If selected, Vineyard Offshore said its project would displace 2.1 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year across New England, roughly the same as taking 414,000 cars off the roads. Officials said Vineyard Wind 2 would generate about $2.3 billion in direct expenditures and 3,800 job-years of employment across New England, with more than $1.5 billion in spending and 80 percent of the employment coming in Massachusetts.

Vineyard Offshore, like the other developers that submitted bids as part of the competitive process, did not disclose the price for the power its Vineyard Wind 2 project would generate. The company said “electricity market impacts and other benefits totaling as much as $4.8 billion over 20 years from adding 1,200 MW of offshore wind to the New England grid include $600 million from reduced wholesale electricity market rates, and avoidance of winter price spikes.”

Statements of support for the Vineyard Offshore proposal came from Reps. Christopher Hendricks of New Bedford and Christopher Markey of Dartmouth, Salem Mayor Dominick Pangallo, eight New Bedford city councilors, and the mayors of New London and Montville, Conn.


New England Wind

Energy giant Avangrid put forward bids connected to what it is calling New England Wind, which represents two projects — a 791-MW New England Wind 1 project, and a 1,080-MW New England Wind 2 project. The company said it submitted a tri-state bid for New England Wind 1, a second tri-state bid for New England Wind 1 and 2 combined, and additional bids for the single-state procurements in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

Avangrid, which is also behind the operational Vineyard Wind 1 project, said its New England Wind projects are “among the most mature offshore wind opportunities in the nation, with the ability to achieve commercial operations before the end of the decade, delivering an urgent energy, climate, and economic solution to the region.”

The New England Wind 2 label rebrands the former Commonwealth Wind project, which was canceled in August (in conjunction with $48 million in penalties paid by Avangrid) after the developer said it could no longer finance the project at the price it agreed to accept for its power. That project is offered only as part of the combined New England Wind 1 and 2 project, and was not submitted as a standalone project.

“There’s a lot of infrastructure costs that the first project will bear. If, for some reason, that project weren’t awarded, those same infrastructure costs and additional ones would be loaded on the second project. So what we want to make sure of is that the costs that are needed to make New England Wind 1 happen are borne by New England Wind 1 and not by New England Wind 2,” Avangrid’s chief development officer for offshore wind, Ken Kimmel, said. “It’s really about that, making sure the costs are properly allocated to each project.”

Avangrid CEO Pedro Azagra suggested that the single New England Wind 1 project is the priority, since it is furthest along in the permitting process, and could come online before the end of this decade. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management issued a final environmental impact statement for the project in February, and is expected to issue a record of decision in April and approve the project’s construction and operations plan in July.

“At this historic turning point for climate action, New England Wind answers the region’s call for projects that reflect the urgency, ambition, and certainty the moment demands,” he said in a statement. “In powering up the first-in-the-nation Vineyard Wind 1 project, Avangrid proved that American offshore wind is possible. New England Wind 1 in particular builds on this momentum by offering a shovel-ready project that is prepared to start construction as soon as next year. With nearly all local, state, and federal permits in hand, all interconnection rights secured, and a project labor agreement signed with a skilled, local, union workforce, Avangrid is ready to go.”

The New England Wind 1 project is “an exceptionally advanced and shovel-ready project” that used to be known as Park City Wind, Avangrid said. The company last year paid a penalty to Connecticut to terminate the contracts it had to develop Park City Wind for that state’s utilities.

It would be located in a lease area just south of the Vineyard Wind 1 project, and Avangrid plans to provide $30 million in upfront investment and $100 million in lease payments to the marshaling port being developed in Salem.

“This port can be a catalyst for our North Shore region, but only if it’s deployed into use. As the first contracted tenant at the Salem Port, we believe Avangrid is uniquely positioned to deliver a transformational project to Massachusetts that will help the state meet its critical energy needs and secure new economic opportunities for its residents here on the North Shore,” Sen. Joan Lovely and Rep. Manny Cruz, both of Salem, said in a statement provided by Avangrid.

Avangrid said the project could generate enough power for approximately 400,000 homes and reduce emissions equivalent to taking 300,000 gasoline-powered cars off the roads each year. It is projected to create more than 4,400 full-time-equivalent jobs, and spur $3 billion in direct investment in the region.

“New England Wind 1 offers extraordinary certainty and viability. With complete state, regional, and local permitting, a signed host community agreement with the town of Barnstable, and a nearly complete federal permitting program, the project can begin construction as soon as next year, and achieve commercial operations in 2029, helping achieve ambitious 2030 state climate targets set by the New England states,” the company said in its announcement.

The project proposal also includes a plan to deliver basically the power generated by one turbine (15 MW) to the city of Boston, which Avangrid said would power the “equivalent to ⅓ of all Boston public schools buildings, as well as 5,000 residential homes.”

The combined New England Wind 1 and 2 project would generate 1,870 MW for New England, enough to power almost 1 million homes, and reduce emissions by roughly the equivalent of taking 700,000 cars off the roads annually. Avangrid said its combined project would create as many as 9,200 full-time-equivalent jobs and bring $8 billion in direct investment to New England.

The combined project also includes the intention to use the first subsea export cables produced at the cable-manufacturing facility to be built by Italian company Prysmian Cable Manufacturing, in Somerset, but Avangrid said the facility would not be ready in time for New England Wind 1.


SouthCoast Wind

SouthCoast Wind, a project owned by OW Ocean Winds, submitted a tristate proposal for a 1,200-MW project that would essentially match the SouthCoast Wind project that was also canceled last year — a 800-MW project selected in 2019, and a 400-MW project selected in 2021 that were combined.

“The punishing inflation of 2020–23 profoundly impacted infrastructure costs, upending the economics of projects that had fixed revenues, but still needed to fix their costs. For SouthCoast, losing the financial viability of our awarded projects was incredibly difficult — not only because we knew how important they were to Massachusetts and New England, but also because those awards were the pride of our team,” the company said in its bid. “The clear lesson is that a quick turn from award to construction is critical to de-risk a macroeconomic environment that no one can control. Recognizing that imperative, SouthCoast spent the past 18 months making sure the project will be construction-ready immediately following an award.”

The SouthCoast Wind bid document refers to it as a “fully bankable project ready to start construction in 2025,” and one that can offer “quantifiable project benefits that significantly exceed contract costs.”

SouthCoast Wind CEO Michael Brown said the project “is on schedule to deliver abundant and renewable power to New England’s electric grid by 2030.”


  1. There have been many comments in the past about the windmill companies receiving tax benefits. They do. The credit for offshore wind projects is 6% or 30% of expenditures, if construction begins by December 31, 2024.

    Homeowners are also elegible for tax credits. Here is a link to an actual government document that outlines the tax credits, for both commercial projects and residential projects:

    If you purchase a residential wind project between 2022 to 2032 you are allowed a 30% tax credit for allowable expenditures. 30%!!! (So if you were to spend $30,000 on a home wind project, you would get back $10,000! Even a booming stock market doesn’t average that much!) Follow the money. And become energy independent.

    “We need to do more to understand the climate costs of war if we’re to identify pathways towards emissions reductions and increased resilience during recovery.”

    Co2 from war is never calculated, and so we do not know what the emissions are. But they are substantial. As to non-war emissions the two greatest contributors are Russia and the United States, and we both have waged unjust wars to steal resources including fossil fuels.

    We are equal in our Co2 emissions aside from war, and the two greatest contributors. =================

    Currently, Co2 stands at a little less than 4.25 ppm but is increasing rapidly. The IPCC and other environmental organizations inform us that what we have put in will remain for between 300 and 1000 years and so what we put in today, will effectively not go away.

    Because the rate of increase is so intense, far more than it was only 15 years ago, which was at that time far greater than all previous decades, we can expect more carbon on a more or less permanent basis. There is no magic wand for this.

    Co2 as a destructive climate gas when it exceeds the benefits of natural growth, therefore remains in the atmosphere for a very long time. The increase in Co2 marches forward at an exponential rate compared to pre industrial times and World Growth Product, or WGP almost perfectly is on a graph, and by the numbers, parallel to Co2 increase. This rapid increase all started at the beginning of the industrial revolution.

    Offshore wind is predicted to produce 77,000 jobs, all of them generating Co2 directly, and indirectly. They predict $12 billion per year in construction costs, and up to $500 million in port upgrades. All of this is not calculated in their emissions estimates. All of these will increase our emissions and last for up to 1,000 years.

    The U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind Energy Technologies Office (WETO)

    World GDP went from near zero to over $110 trillion, about the same rate and same time period as the Co2 contribution to the atmosphere. So, in effect, we can calculate the Co2 increase from 1900 to 2024 as a result of the World GDP value of $110 trillion increase of industry.

    This tells us a lot about growth, war, and waste. What offshore wind is saying to us is that we can continue to live our lifestyle if we just invest in energy that produces less Co2. Well, sorry, but what will happen is more electric cars, more wars, and more of everything and it will do nothing significant to reduce the increase of Co2 as nations continue to use fossil fuels, wage wars, and replace Democracies with Dictatorships including very possibly a Trump led USA.

    I realize that we will just continue to do what the industrial complex wants us to do. This current world started with the industrial revolution, and it will end with it.

    What then will work? Well, that is the question. But offshore wind is not the answer.

    • Frank, We need to use every tool in the toolbox to try and cool the earth. If every new roof was white, that would help. If every new roof was metal, that would help. If we plant more windmills, both residential and massive commercial projects, both onshore and offshore, that would help. If we hang our clothes to dry, that would help. If we watch less tv, that would help. If we don’t participate in crypto currency, that would help. If we buy and use electric cars, that would help. If we use bikes (both electric and pedal bikes) or scooters, that would help. If we design our homes to utilize southern exposure, that would help. If we installed phase change materials in our homes, that would help. If we super-insulate our homes, that would help. If we install solar panels on our properties and become energy independent, that would help. So yes, offshore wind is part of the answer.
      Don’t give up. The lobsters and whales are counting on us.

    • I’m all with you on this one Frank.
      Imagine what we could do as a civilization if we
      put the money we spend on “defense” towards
      something useful.

      • Don, you are absolutely right. We need leaders like Biden or Romney who operate from a position of meeting human needs for all people, rather than people like Putin and Trump who operate from positions of money is king, especially if they are king with all the money.

    • Frank, if we want to reduce CO2 emissions from war, then we need to stop the aggressors in war.
      Putin is the number one culprit on the world stage right now. Trump has voiced that Putin is a good guy, so let’s vote against Trump.

  3. If the Island was truly Conservative it would not depend on others for power. It would produce what it consumes.

    • Albert, you’re absolutely correct. We should all produce our own electricity, in our own property.

  4. Tom Pallas, your book recommendation, “Life on the Line,” by your friend Jill is a charming book. Thank you! 😁

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