United States

United States

US offshore wind steps up a gear with support for 3.2GW

Four projects win support as Massachusetts and Maryland commit to boosting burgeoning sector on the country's east coast

BNOW’s chief executive Liz Burdock said 2021 had seen “tremendous progress” for the offshore wind industry in the US
BNOW’s chief executive Liz Burdock said 2021 had seen “tremendous progress” for the offshore wind industry in the US

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Four offshore wind projects planned off the US’s north-eastern coast have taken a step forward after winning support in two separate solicitations by Massachusetts and Maryland

CIP/Avangrid’s 1232MW Commonwealth Wind Commonwealth Wind (1232MW) OffshoreMassachusetts, USA, North America Click to see full details, 400MW of EDP/Engie/Shell’s 1200MW Mayflower Wind Mayflower Wind (1200MW) Offshoreoff Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, USA, North America Click to see full details, US Wind’s 808.5MW Momentum Momentum (808.5MW) OffshoreMaryland, USA, North America Click to see full details and Ørsted’s 846MW Skipjack Wind 2 Skipjack Wind 2 (846MW) Offshoreoff Ocean City, Maryland , USA, North America Click to see full details were all awarded power purchase agreements (PPAs) as part of the two states’ latest offshore wind energy procurement rounds.

“Actions by US states and the federal government have created real momentum in the US offshore wind industry over the past 12 months,” the Business Network for Offshore Wind (BNOW) said in a statement, adding that the announcements by Massachusetts and Maryland take total US state offshore wind procurement to more than 17GW, nearly double the 9GW achieved by January 2021.

“Today’s announcement that Massachusetts procured another 1.6GW of offshore wind is a fitting end to a year that saw tremendous progress for the adoption of offshore wind industry as an important part of America’s clean energy portfolio,” said BNOW’s chief executive and president Liz Burdock. 

Project company Mayflower Wind — a 50:50 joint venture of Shell and Engie/EDP Renewables JV Ocean Winds — was awarded a 400MW PPA by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and its three biggest utilities. The wind farm will generate electricity from more than 1.2GW of capacity for customers in Massachusetts and other parts of New England.

“Mayflower Wind is looking forward to delivering low-cost renewable energy to residents and businesses throughout Massachusetts,” said Michael Brown, chief executive of Mayflower Wind. “And we are committed to investing in our local communities and being an engine for economic and workforce development.”

“Commonwealth Wind will power hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses in Massachusetts with clean energy, creating thousands of local jobs across the supply chain,” said Ignacio Galán, chairman of Iberdrola subsidiary Avangrid.

As the award was announced, cable manufacturer Prysmian revealed a $580 million contract to design, supply, install and commission as many as three submarine export power cable links to connect Commonwealth Wind to the electricity grid in Massachusetts.

The Massachusetts award is accompanied by an up to $42.3 million economic development package that includes support for the offshore wind supply chain, education and training of a specialist workforce and investments in local ports, businesses and infrastructure.

In Maryland, the state’s Public Service Commission awarded a 20-year offshore renewable energy certificate (Orec) at $71.61/MWh (in 2012 levelised terms) to Ørsted’s largest bid in the solicitation, Skipjack Wind 2. 

Ørsted will build the wind farm, and the previously awarded 120MW Skipjack Wind 1 Skipjack Wind 1 (120MW) Offshoreoff Ocean City, Maryland, USA, North America Click to see full details as a single project, with commissioning expected in 2026. 

“The win in Maryland manifests our market leading position in the US with a total of approximately 5GW of awarded offshore wind projects, which unlocks significant portfolio benefits in procurement, construction and operations,” said Ørsted’s deputy CEO and chief commercial officer, Martin Neubert. 

Ørsted estimates that Skipjack Wind 2 will generate around $510 million in supply chain investments in Maryland and create thousands of jobs in manufacturing and operations and maintenance (O&M).

Hellenic Cables has plans to locate the US’s first fully integrated array cable manufacturing facility in Maryland, while Ørsted will facilitate the construction of an offshore wind tower manufacturing facility in the state.

Momentum Wind’s developer ​​US Wind said in August that construction of its project would also see a steel plant and port facility coming to Maryland.

“The commitments announced today re-position Maryland as an offshore wind leader and cement the state’s status as a major manufacturing hub for the US offshore wind industry, said BNOW’s Liz Burdock.  

She urged Maryland stakeholders to “continue to act boldly to sustain and strengthen the state’s new industry in the face of intense competition”.

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