No competition: State bid for more offshore wind gets one response
Competition in the marketplace is supposed to benefit consumers by keeping prices low and the quality and choice high. But what happens when only one offshore wind farm developer steps forward to a state solicitation?(Konstantin Sahnjuk/EyeEm/Getty Images)
It was supposed to be a competitive bidding process when the state announced last October it wanted to bring more offshore wind to Rhode Island. But only one development team responded.
The 884-megawatt farm proposed by Orsted A/S and Eversource Energy submitted the lone proposal to Rhode Island Energy, the state’s primary utility operator announced on Friday.
The solicitation, which closed March 13, aims to bring up to 1,000 more megawatts of offshore wind power to the Ocean State, helping to meet approaching state mandates around decarbonization and renewable electricity.
Orsted and Eversource are already developing a 700-megawatt wind farm off the coast of Block Island known as Revolution Wind, which will provide power to Rhode Island and Connecticut. Orsted also owns and operates the Block Island Wind Farm.
The companies’ joint proposal for another wind project, known as Revolution Wind 2, will be evaluated by Rhode Island Energy in conjunction with state utility and energy regulators. A preliminary contract could be awarded by June, based on the timeline posted to the company website.
“Although we had hoped to see more developers put forward additional proposals within this appeal, we also know there are a multitude of factors at play right now, “Rhode Island Energy President David Bonenberger said in a statement.
“As we move forward, our evaluation will consider future energy affordability and how this proposal meets the requirements of both the RFP and state law.”
Any contract awarded will also require several other state and federal reviews before the project can move forward, including approval from the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission and and U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.
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