Connecticut DEEP: Park City Wind Project selected to advance to contract negotiations with UI, Eversource

The project, which will provide the equivalent of 14% of the state’s electricity supply, will come online in 2025, DEEP said

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Commissioner Katie Dykes on Dec. 5 announced that Vineyard Wind’s bid has been selected to advance to contract negotiations with the state’s electric distribution companies to provide 804 MW of offshore wind through the development of the Park City Wind Project, according to a DEEP statement.

The bid was selected through a competitive request for proposals (RFP) that DEEP conducted under “An Act Concerning the Procurement of Energy Derived from Offshore Wind,” that was signed by Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont in June, DEEP said, adding that the resulting contracts will be subject to review and approval by the state Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA).

The project, which will provide the equivalent of 14% of the state’s electricity supply, will come online in 2025, DEEP said.

“The climate crisis is no longer a future problem, and the time for action is now,” Dykes said in the statement, in part. “The selection of this project — the largest renewable purchase in Connecticut history — demonstrates that a zero-carbon electric future is attainable in a relatively short period of time. By leveraging competition, DEEP is securing the best value for ratepayers as we advance climate solutions and grow clean energy jobs here in our state.”

This is Connecticut’s third procurement with offshore wind as a competitive resource, and the first procurement specifically focused on offshore wind, DEEP said, noting that in 2018, it selected 304 MW of offshore wind from Revolution Wind, developed by Ørsted and Eversource Energy.

DEEP said that it initiated the proceeding in June to release the RFP within days of the enactment of the legislation, which authorized DEEP to procure up to 2,000 MW of offshore wind power. As provided in the legislation, DEEP consulted with the Office of Consumer Counsel, Attorney General’s Office, procurement manager at PURA, and Connecticut’s electric distribution companies, Eversource and AVANGRID Inc., subsidiary The United Illuminating Company (UI), DEEP said, adding that the final RFP was issued in August.

DEEP said that it received in October more than 30 bid variants from three different developers in response to the RFP, with Vineyard Wind’s Park City Wind project selected from those bids.

The Park City Wind project includes an assessment of potential hazards to wildlife and fisheries from developing and operating the offshore wind turbines, DEEP said, adding that an environmental and fisheries mitigation plan provides for a stakeholder engagement process, a commitment to 1-nautical-mile-by-1-nautical-mile spacing between turbines, environmental monitoring throughout all project phases, and a decommissioning plan. DEEP also said that the project will undergo environmental review through a number of permitting processes.

The Park City Wind project will now enter into contract negotiations with UI and Eversource, for a contract with a 20-year term, DEEP said.

In a separate Dec. 5 statement, Vineyard Wind CEO Lars Pedersen said, in part: “We look forward to building on the work already underway with a network of project partners, local officials, the maritime community, other developers, and all stakeholders involved to make Connecticut a hub for the offshore wind industry in the United States for decades to come.”

The statement noted that Vineyard Wind is a joint venture of Avangrid Renewables, a subsidiary of AVANGRID Inc., which is majority owned by Iberdrola S.A., and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), each of which owns 50% of Vineyard Wind.