The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) has announced that it has released a request for proposals (RfP) for offshore wind power for the procurement of energy derived from offshore wind projects. This RfP seeks up to 2 GW of offshore wind.
DEEP launched this significant RfP process within days of enactment of Public Act 19-71 in July, when it sought comments from stakeholders on a draft of the RfP. As part of the RfP process, Commissioner Katie Dykes had convened a Commission on Environmental Standards to provide input on best practices for avoiding, minimizing, and mitigating any impacts to wildlife, natural resources, ecosystems, and traditional or existing water-dependent uses like commercial fishing. The Commission held a series of meetings over the course of two months and released a report on August 7, 2019, that provided recommendations to DEEP.
“This RfP represents the future of the state’s environmental, energy, and economic potential,” said Governor Ned Lamont. “I commend DEEP and the Commission on Environmental Standards for working so thoroughly to find the right balance in this RfP to preserve our ocean ecosystem while encouraging the development of local renewable energy industry.”
This RfP represents the state’s first solicitation dedicated specifically to offshore wind development. It builds off of multi-resource solicitations in 2018 in which Connecticut bought 304 MW of offshore wind from the Revolution Wind project (now owned by Ørsted and Eversource).
“Offshore wind has the potential to significantly reduce the electric grid’s dependence on fossil fuels, improve grid reliability in the winter, and advance clean energy jobs and development here in our state, all while helping Connecticut achieve critical climate goals,” said Commissioner Dykes.
“I am grateful to the Commission on Environmental Standards for working quickly to inform DEEP about opportunities to pursue offshore wind development in a manner that minimizes environmental and fisheries impacts, both in this RfP process and in any steps that follow the selection of a project in this RfP. Through this competitive process, we look forward to seeing this emerging industry bring forward its best projects to grow our green economy and provide a cleaner source of generation for Connecticut.”
The timeline for DEEP’s RfP aligns with a similar offshore wind solicitation run by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, enhancing competition and urgency as the Production Tax Credit that benefits wind production sunsets at the end of the year.
There is no minimum amount of offshore wind that DEEP must procure under this RfP, and selection decisions will depend on projects demonstrating that they are in the best interest of Connecticut’s ratepayers. The last date for bid submission is September 30, 2019, and a pre-bid meeting has been scheduled for August 29, 2019, to address the concerns raised by the prospective bidders.