PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island Energy says it received only one response to the utility’s request for proposals to add 600 to 1,000 megawatts of new offshore wind power.
Orsted A/S and Eversource Energy, the partnership already seeking final approval for its Revolution Wind project, seek to develop another 884 megawatts of offshore wind with its Revolution Wind 2 proposal.
In a statement Friday, Dave J. Bonenberger, president of Rhode Island Energy, expressed a bit of disappointment that there hadn’t been more bidders but indicated he wasn’t surprised.
“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,” he said. “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.”
Rhode Island Energy’s request for offshore wind bids was a result of the Affordable Clean Energy Security Act passed in 2022, the state legislation requiring that 100% of all electricity sold in Rhode Island be generated from renewable sources by 2033.
Rhode Island Energy issued the RFP in October with submissions due on March 13. Purchase agreement contracts will be set between 15 and 20 years.
In his statement, Bonenberger said the company is “committed to helping Rhode Island meet its leading clean energy goals and will carefully review Orsted and Eversource’s joint proposal … Our objective is to advance the clean energy transition while keeping energy affordable and reliable for our customers. This is the lens through which we will evaluate the proposal.”
Rhode Island Energy will now evaluate the proposal, a process that will take three months. A public version of the application will be available next week, after Rhode Island Energy shares it with the R.I. Office of Energy Resources and R.I. Division of Public Utilities and Carriers, the utility company says.
Between the March 13 submission deadline and Friday, the company had been silent on the number of proposals received.
According to a procurement timeline on the Rhode Island Energy website, a conditional approval of the bid is slated for June 21, with contract negotiations lasting until September. The company expects to submit the proposed contract to the R.I. Public Utilities Commission for approval by Nov. 13.
In announcing its submission earlier this week, Orsted and Eversource said Revolution 2 would deliver power to more than 500,000 Rhode Island homes (there are only about 500,000 homes in Rhode Island, according to U.S. Census Bureau data) and pump $2 billion into the state’s blue economy, and create roughly 75 new local engineering jobs in a state-of-the-art facility that will serve as an Orsted engineering center. They also touted a $35 million investment for a regional offshore wind logistics and operations hub at Quonset Point in North Kingstown.
A spokesperson for Orsted and Eversource, Meaghan Wims, said that Revolution Wind 2 would be located in federal waters within the partnership’s Northeast lease area off the coast of southern New England.
Christopher Allen is a PBN staff writer. You may contact him at Allen@PBN.com
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