Deepwater Wind proposes offshore wind, battery storage for MA RFP

Friday, August 4, 2017

Massachusetts energy regulators are reviewing bids to supply clean energy from new sources -- including a combined offshore wind and energy storage project proposed by developer Deepwater Wind.

Rhode Island-based Deepwater Wind is the developer of America's first commercial offshore wind project, the 30 MW Block Island Wind Farm which began commercial operations in December 2016. Other projects in early-stage development by the company include the 90 MW South Fork Wind Farm serving Long Island and the 120 MW Skipjack Wind Farm serving Maryland.

Earlier this year, prompted by 2016 state legislation, the Massachusetts electric distribution companies, in coordination with the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, issued a Request for Proposals for Long-term Contracts for Clean Energy Projects pursuant to Section 83D.  Through the RFP, the Massachusetts utilities solicited proposals for clean energy generation in an amount roughly equal to 9,450,000 MWh.

According to Deepwater Wind, it responded to the Massachusetts clean energy RFP by proposing the Revolution Wind farm, paired with a battery storage system.  The company's prime proposal features 144 MW of wind generation, coupled with a 40 MWh battery system, which it says will "help to defer the need to construct costly new peaking generating facilities and controversial transmission lines."  The project would be sited on the Outer Continental Shelf off Massachusetts, about 30 miles from the mainland and about 12 miles off Martha's Vineyard, under a lease from the federal government.  It would be adjacent to Deepwater Wind’s South Fork Wind Farm.  Emphasizing flexibility and scalability, as well as the ability to complete construction in one season, alternative bids submitted by the company envisioned a larger 288 MW version of Revolution Wind and a smaller 96 MW version.

Deepwater Wind says it also intends to submit an offshore wind proposal under a separate solicitation process under way in under Section 83C of Massachusetts law, with bids due by December 2018.

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