Mayflower Wind wins second round of offshore bidding

Source: By JON CHESTO, Boston Globe • Posted: Thursday, October 31, 2019

Three Deepwater Wind turbines, operated by Danish ffshore wind company Orsted. in the water off Block Island, R.I.
Three Deepwater Wind turbines, operated by Danish ffshore wind company Orsted. in the water off Block Island, R.I. Michael Dwyer/Associated Press/File 2016/Associated Press

Mayflower Wind has won the second round of the Massachusetts offshore wind sweepstakes. The wind-farm developer, a joint venture owned by Shell and EDP Renewables, was selected by the state’s three big electric utilities to provide about 800 megawatts of electricity from a wind farm that would be built in waters south of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. That would be enough power for about 470,000 homes.

Officials in the Baker administration helped oversee the bidding, but declined to say whether the winning bid from Mayflower offered the lowest price in this round of all bids. (Mayflower’s price will be public record eventually.) Judith Judson, the state’s commissioner of energy resources, said there will be economic benefits, as well, particularly for the South Coast, although Mayflower had submitted two higher-priced bids that would have potentially resulted in even more local work related to the project. “We were extremely pleased with the pricing we saw, as well as the other benefits that Mayflower brought into the solicitation,” Judson said.

Mayflower Wind beat two other bidders, the Vineyard Wind and Bay State Wind joint ventures. Vineyard Wind won the first round of contracts, also to provide 800 megawatts, but its project remains bogged down in the federal permitting process. The state Legislature set this auction process up through a 2016 law aimed at spurring more clean sources of energy, including offshore wind.