Mayflower Wind promises lowest US price yet
Offers other options with higher prices plus onshore investments
ONE OF THE COMPANIES seeking to win the state’s second offshore wind procurement offered regulators a choice between the lowest price ever in the United States or proposals that come with a higher price but include major onshore investments.
Most analysts had expected prices to rise on the state’s second procurement, partly because the bid on the first procurement was so low and partly because a federal tax credit that helped enable that low bid is being phased out. In fact, Gov. Charlie Baker in late July pushed through a change in state law eliminating a requirement that the price of this procurement be lower than the last because of concerns no one would bid.
But Mayflower Wind, a joint venture of Shell New Energies and EDP Renewables, said on Friday that its “low price energy” proposal would offer “the lowest cost offshore wind energy ever in the US.” The exact price was blacked out in the proposal available to the public because the company is considering bidding on a contract in Connecticut next month and didn’t want to give away its pricing strategy.
Mayflower also proposed two other options at higher price points, but the company said the price in both instances would still be the lowest price yet for US offshore wind. One option would come with significant investments in port infrastructure along the South Coast and offshore wind technology development. The other option would combine the infrastructure and technology investments with long-term financial support for a tower manufacturing facility in Massachusetts.
The three options put forward by Mayflower all have a capacity of 804 megawatts. A fourth option was also included for 408 megawatts. The 408-megawatt project and phase one of the 804-megawatt projects are expected to be done by September 2025, with full completion of the larger projects in December 2025.
John Hartnett, the president of Mayflower, said his company benefits from Shell’s deep knowledge of offshore energy development and EDP Renewables’ vast experience with wind energy. He said the two companies have access to a powerful US supply chain capable of keeping costs down.
Hartnett said Mayflower’s smorgasbord approach in its bid is designed to give regulators options. The Baker administration has been very focused on obtaining a low price, while officials on the South Coast would like to see a project that yields onshore benefits in terms of jobs and investments. Hartnett said his company’s bid package tries to cover all the bases.
“Who am I to suggest I know what they want?” Hartnett said.
In addition to Mayflower, two other companies – Vineyard Wind and Bay State Wind – submitted bids last Friday for the second offshore wind procurement. Their public bids, with key pricing and timing information redacted, were due to state regulators on Friday, but none of them were posted online immediately by state officials. Mayflower made its public bid information available separately.Vineyard Wind is a 50-50 partnership between Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and Avangrid Renewables. Bay State Wind is a partnership of Orsted Wind Power North America and Eversource Energy.
Vineyard Wind won the state’s initial offshore wind procurement, but the environmental review of the project is currently on hold as regulators try to understand how the project will interact with other wind farms being proposed up and down the East Coast. Fishing groups have raised concerns about the layout of the Vineyard Wind wind farm.