News, Offshore, Project Development

Major developers bid to build offshore wind farm for Connecticut

offshore wind farm

Joint venture partners Eversource and Ørsted announced the submission of their “Constitution Wind” project bid in response to Connecticut’s Request for Proposals (RFP) for offshore wind energy generation. Constitution Wind included several project proposals that offer Connecticut flexibility in selecting its next offshore wind project. 

Vineyard Wind also submitted a set of offshore wind project proposals for its “Park City Wind” to Connecticut in response to the same RFP. The bids submitted include a required 400-megawatt (MW) plan and options to develop projects that will generate 800 MW, 1000 MW and 1200 MW.

Mayflower Wind, a joint venture between Shell New Energies US LLC (Shell) and EDPR Offshore North America LLC (EDPR), also submitted a bid.

Ørsted and Eversource’s “Constitution Wind” bid

Constitution Wind, said Ørsted and Eversource in a press release, is the only project that is the product of more than four years of development and detailed analysis. It presents Connecticut with a mature, well-studied project that the state can be confident will allow it to meet its recently strengthened climate change mandates. 

Drawing from the 25 offshore wind farms that Ørsted has developed around the globe, and Eversource’s more than 100-year presence in the Northeast, Constitution Wind differentiates its bid in several key areas:

In an effort to gather as much information and research about the project and its surrounding environment, the team gathered two years of advanced FLiDAR wind speed data specific to its lease area and conducted over 12,000 miles of geophysical surveys in the lease area and along the export cable route – equivalent to the distance between Hartford and Perth, Australia.

This quantity of data provides Connecticut with greater certainty that Constitution Wind will deliver on its commitment to bring renewable energy to the state and support Connecticut’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions by 45% by 2030, said Ørsted, which added that the data collected was used to adapt the project design to better mitigate stakeholder and environmental impacts and will allow Constitution Wind to secure the necessary project permits before construction.

In addition, the companies said that Constitution Wind is the only developer to demonstrate its willingness to work directly with the fishing industry and other ocean users. As part of its ongoing stakeholder engagement, the Constitution Wind project team incorporated, and continues to incorporate, many suggestions from fishermen and local stakeholders to balance the needs of the fishing community and mariners with this offshore wind energy.

In response to feedback from fishermen and community members, Constitution Wind was the first developer to proactively revise its turbine layout pattern to accommodate historical fishing patterns and ease transiting through the wind farm. The developers of Constitution Wind were also the first in the industry to partner with the Responsible Offshore Development Alliance (RODA), the only national commercial fishing organization that is purpose-built for interacting with the offshore wind industry to maintain sustainable fisheries.

Finally, Eversource and Ørsted said they are committed to working with the state, unions, and local colleges and universities to drive job training for offshore wind and that they have committed to invest $57 million for upgrades to New London State Pier, an underutilized state asset, to accommodate the industry and create a world-class offshore wind staging hub in Connecticut.

“Since 2015, our team has been focused on bringing affordable, renewable energy to Connecticut, a major opportunity for the state’s clean energy future and economy,” said President of Ørsted North America and CEO of Ørsted U.S. Offshore Wind Thomas Brostrøm. “Following up on the selection of our Revolution Wind project by the state and our investment to turn New London State Pier into a world-class offshore wind center, our proposed Constitution Wind project will be delivered by the industry’s leading experts to ensure the project is achievable, sustainable and successful for Connecticut.”

 “We commend Connecticut’s commitment to becoming a leader in the fast-growing offshore wind industry,” said Eversource Executive Vice President for Enterprise Energy Strategy and Business Development Lee Olivier. “Through our four years of project development and outreach, we have heard the enthusiasm for offshore wind from residents, businesses, and communities across the state. We look forward to assisting Connecticut’s transition to clean, affordable, offshore wind energy.”

The Vineyard Wind “Park City” bid

Park City Wind, named after the City of Bridgeport, includes projects ranging from 408 MW to 1,200 MW that would be constructed in one of Vineyard Wind’s two federally designated lease areas (Lease Area OCS-A 0501 and Lease Area OCS-A 0522). Both lease areas are located south of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket in the midst of the strongest winds on the east coast and would not be visible from any shoreline in Connecticut.

Each Park City Wind option will bring substantial economic development and job creation benefits to Connecticut, providing hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity and thousands of jobs particularly in and near Bridgeport, said Vineyard Wind. Beyond the immediate job and economic opportunities, Vineyard Wind has sought partnerships with a number of preeminent educational and workforce development organizations to ensure that Connecticut residents of all skill levels, ages and backgrounds can have access to a tremendous opportunity in this 21st Century industry.

“Vineyard Wind is pleased to submit a dynamic set of project proposals to deliver a reliable source of fixed, low-cost, zero-emission energy to Connecticut rate-payers, while supporting the state’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Lars Pedersen, CEO of Vineyard Wind.

“Our Park City Wind proposal is much more than an energy project – it’s an opportunity for Connecticut to develop a world-class offshore wind industry in Bridgeport and solidify its role as a high value industry hub in the U.S. for years to come. Vineyard Wind looks forward to working with all stakeholders involved throughout the review process and will be announcing additional details about this exciting opportunity in the weeks ahead.”

Offshore Wind
Shell and EDPR’s “Mayflower Wind” bid

Mayflower Wind submitted two proposals — one for a 408-MW project and another for an 804-MW project.

The company said in its RFP that Mayflower Wind represents the best choice for Connecticut, the electric distribution companies, and their customers for the following reasons:

  • Making safety the first priority for everyone, always
  • Its cost-effectiveness – the lowest price for offshore wind seen in the U.S.
  • The experience, capability, credibility, financial strength, and U.S. and international supply chain networks of our Sponsors: Shell, a global energy industry leader and EDP Renewables, the world’s fourth-largest developer and operator of wind energy generation
  • A proven track record of working with Federal, State, and Local agencies to successfully permit complex projects both offshore and onshore
  • The net economic benefits to ratepayers and citizens of the State of Connecticut, including up to roughly quarter of total $1.2 billion in electric rate reductions in ISO-NE, up to 2800 jobs over the life of the project, and direct spending in this region by Mayflower Wind of up to more than $350 million while adhering to the payment of not less than the prevailing wage and engaging in good faith negotiation of a project labor agreement.

“Governor Lamont has outlined a vision for moving Connecticut toward a clean energy future, and we believe our proposal can play a role in advancing that vision in an affordable manner,” said John Hartnett, President of Mayflower Wind.

“The state’s comprehensive energy strategy calls for deployment of cheaper, cleaner, and more reliable energy resources – and that is exactly what we are offering.”