On Friday, December 17, 2021, Massachusetts and Maryland selected a total of four offshore wind projects in their latest solicitation rounds to bring an additional 3.2 GW of new offshore wind capacity to the states.
The Maryland Public Service Commission (Commission) awarded offshore renewable energy credits to two developers planning to expand offshore wind facilities off the coast of Ocean City: 800 MW (at $71.61/MWh) were awarded to Orsted, the developer of the Shipjack Wind II project, and 800 MW (at $54.17/MWh) were awarded to US Wind, Inc., the developer of the Momentum Wind project. The agreements were awarded in response to the Commission’s call for proposals for Round 2 offshore wind projects. The Commission called on the developers to create a minimum of 10,324 direct jobs during the development, construction and operating phases of the projects; commit to certain goals to engage small, local and minority businesses; pass 80 percent of any construction costs savings to ratepayers; and contribute $6 million each to the Maryland Offshore Wind Business Development Fund. Each agreement carries a 20-year term from the date of entering operation. The credits will support the next phase of the developers’ respective projects as they seek to expand.
On the same day, Massachusetts completed its largest solicitation, awarding approximately 1200 MW to Avangrid Renewables and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, the joint developers of the Commonwealth Wind project, and approximately 400 MW to Ocean Wind and Shell, the joint developers of the Mayflower Wind project. These were awarded in response to the state’s third request for proposals for offshore wind energy projects, which included enhanced criteria for, among other things, economic evaluation of the benefits for ratepayers; the project’s ability to foster employment and economic development in the commonwealth; the project’s impacts on the environment and environmental justice communities; and the bidder’s proposed plans to promote diversity, equity and inclusion. For both projects, the developers submitted multiple bids with MW ranges and economic development packages.