Deepwater Wind, Tesla plan largest offshore battery project

Source: Christa Marshall, E&E News reporter • Posted: Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Deepwater Wind is proposing to build the world’s largest offshore wind farm tied to battery storage off the coast of Massachusetts.

The 144-megawatt Revolution Wind project would be linked with a storage system from Tesla Inc. 12 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard. It would be the first pairing of offshore wind and energy storage in the U.S., with the project aiming to sequester large amounts of electricity produced at night for later use.

Deepwater Wind launched the first U.S. commercial offshore wind farm in the United States last December off Block Island.

“Revolution Wind is flexible and scalable. That a serious advantage of offshore wind — we can build to the exact size utilities need,” said Deepwater Wind CEO Jeffrey Grybowski.

Deepwater Wind submitted alternative bids for a larger 288-MW farm and a smaller 96-MW project.

Revolution Wind is not a done deal; it’s one of several renewable projects submitting bids under a Massachusetts law requiring a portion of state power to come from clean energy sources by 2022. Massachusetts will award contracts later in the year.

Massachusetts utilities in June announced they would add at least 400 MW in new offshore wind generation (Climatewire, June 30).

Rhode Island-based Deepwater Wind said it hoped the project would be operational by 2023 in its federal lease area, adjacent to another planned wind farm that will serve Long Island. The full lease site has the potential to host 2 gigawatts of offshore wind energy, the company said.

The announcement came as Capitol Hill lawmakers are pushing for expanded tax credits for offshore wind.

Today, Sens. Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) introduced a bill that would establish a 30 percent investment tax credit eligible to the first 3,000 MW of U.S. offshore wind facilities placed into service.

Currently, qualifying wind projects can claim a credit only if they start construction before Dec. 31, 2019.

“By giving private-sector companies the certainty they need, our legislation will help accelerate the development of this promising industry,” Collins said.

Earlier this week, the American Wind Energy Association announced a 40 percent jump in second-quarter wind projects under construction or in “advanced development” compared with the same period last year.

The Maryland Public Service Commission’s awarding of offshore renewable energy credits to two planned offshore wind projects helped the growth, along with onshore projects in the Midwest and Texas, AWEA said.