Biden’s Offshore Wind Ambitions Face Another Setback

Source: By Josh Saul, Bloomberg • Posted: Monday, January 2, 2023

US offshore wind faces inflation, interest rate challenges Mayflower Wind is joint venture between Shell, EDP and Engie

Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Shell New Energies, EDP Renewables and Engie asked regulators for a delay in the planning of a proposed joint-venture offshore wind farm, the latest potential setback to President Joe Biden’s goal of powering millions of homes from Atlantic gusts.

The sharp spike in interest rates presents “significant challenges” to Mayflower Wind’s economics, the project’s lawyers said in a filing with Massachusetts regulators on Friday. They asked regulators for time to hold discussions with local utilities and other parties before approving contracts for the sale of the electricity the project would generate.

The potential delay is the latest in a string of industry setbacks that bring into question whether enough projects will get built in the Atlantic to fulfill Biden’s strategy to bring clean energy to East Coast cities. The goal to power 10 million homes by 2030 with offshore wind looks to be at risk as developers face challenges including inflation, supply chain woes and rising interest rates.

New England utility Avangrid Inc. asked regulators this month to cancel the power purchase agreements it made with utilities for a large wind farm it’s building. And New Jersey utility Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. said in October it’s deciding whether to pull out of its stake in another offshore wind farm in the Atlantic Ocean.

A Mayflower Wind representative declined to comment.