DONG Energy, Eversource team up for wind project offshore of Massachusetts

DONG Energy said Dec. 14 that it is teaming up with Eversource Energy (NYSE:ES), which has acquired a 50% ownership interest in the Bay State Wind project.

The proposed offshore wind farm would be located approximately 15-25 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard in an area that has the potential to develop at least 2,000 MW.

“Offshore wind has great potential in the U.S., and I am very pleased that we are entering into a strategic partnership with Eversource to develop our first project in New England,” said Samuel Leupold, EVP and CEO of DONG Energy Wind Power. “Offshore wind will add to the diversity, and the security, of Massachusetts’ energy mix.”

“New England is setting the pace for a national clean energy future with its proven track record in energy efficiency and bold clean energy goals,” said Jim Judge, President and CEO of Eversource Energy. “Our partnership with DONG Energy on Bay State Wind represents a significant opportunity to help make those goals a reality and we look forward to delivering this renewable and reliable source of power to customers.”

DONG Energy Wind Power U.S. Inc. and Eversource will seek to jointly develop, construct and operate the utility-scale offshore wind project in a 50-50 partnership. DONG Energy will use its expertise in the offshore wind sector to lead the development and construction of the project’s offshore generation and transmission assets. Eversource will leverage its transmission expertise in New England to develop and construct the onshore transmission system.

“Offshore wind is a reliable home-grown energy source that can be delivered at scale to Massachusetts residents and businesses,” said Thomas Brostrøm, General Manager for DONG Energy Wind Power U.S. Inc. “New England’s water depths and wind speeds are similar to those in Europe and provide attractive conditions.”

In April 2015, DONG Energy secured newly assigned project development rights to a 300 square mile ocean area 15-25 miles off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard that was made available for lease by the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management in a competitive solicitation. In August 2016, Massachusetts formally adopted a comprehensive energy bill that includes a first-of-its-kind mandate that state utilities purchase 1,600 MW of offshore wind power by 2027. The first state-led procurement process will begin in June 2017.

DONG Energy and Eversource expect that first power from their project can be delivered in the early 2020s.

DONG Energy’s wind division has built more than one quarter of the total offshore wind capacity in the market. Since launching the world’s first offshore wind farm in 1991, DONG Energy has pioneered and refined the approach to developing and constructing offshore wind farms.

“We are encouraged by the dramatic progress that Europe is making in the offshore wind market. Wind technology is rapidly advancing, output is increasing and prices are dramatically dropping,” added Lee Olivier, EVP of Strategy and Business Development at Eversource Energy. “Now is the time to bring that progress here to New England, and we are thrilled to be partnering with a developer who has such a successful track record.”

Based in Denmark, DONG Energy (NASDAQ OMX: DENERG) is one of Northern Europe’s leading energy groups.

Eversource transmits and delivers electricity and natural gas to more than 3.6 million electric and natural gas customers in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.