Avangrid has asked Massachusetts utility regulators to allow it to continue negotiating the power purchase agreements (PPAs) for its planned 1.2GW Commonwealth Wind offshore wind project.
The subsidiary of Spanish energy giant Iberdrola had said the project off Massachusetts is no longer viable because of inflation, interest hikes and supply chain bottlenecks. However, Sy Oytan, senior vice president for offshore projects for Avangrid, has now said that the company "believes there is a path forward" for the project.
In a filing on 14 November to the Department of Public Utilities (DPU), Avangrid stated: “Commonwealth Wind strongly believes that it is in the public interest to allow the parties to negotiate PPA contract amendments that allow Commonwealth Wind’s offshore wind generation project to be economically viable, to obtain financing and to proceed to construction and, finally, to deliver Massachusetts customers cost-effective renewable energy at prices that would be lower than alternatives.”
It is unclear how this addresses the DPU’s recent request that, by 14 November, “Commonwealth Wind … must now decide whether they intend to move forward with their contractual obligations under the PPAs or file a request to dismiss the proceedings.”
On 13 November, state governor Charlie Baker’s top energy aide urged Avangrid to adhere to the PPAs. “While the current macroeconomic conditions are challenging and many in the industry face inflationary pressures, action at the federal and state level have been made to directly address these effects,” Bethany Card wrote to the developer, citing the federal Inflation Reduction Act.
The three utilities in question have said they will not re-negotiate the PPAs.