R.I. offshore wind price bit higher than Mass.
When Massachusetts and Rhode Island began exploring the construction of wind farms off the coast, there was a lot of debate about whether to start big or start small. Those who wanted to go big said a large wind farm would yield a lower price and send a signal that the region was serious about building an offshore wind industry. Those who favored starting small said going slowly would give onshore companies more time to ramp up to take advantage of the business opportunities; going too fast, they said, would give the edge to well-established European suppliers.
In the end, Massachusetts went big, negotiating a contract with Vineyard Wind for an 800 megawatt wind farm, the maximum allowed under state law. Rhode Island started small, approving a contract with Ørsted US Offshore Wind for a 400 megawatt wind farm. With the release of the Rhode Island contract on Thursday, the pricing issue is now settled: A bigger wind farm does yield a slightly better price.
National Grid, acting on behalf of Rhode Island ratepayers, agreed to pay a flat rate for electricity of 9.8 cents per kilowatt hour for 20 years. Adjusted for inflation, the so-called levelized rate is 7.4 cents per kilowatt hour.
The three Massachusetts utilities – Eversource, National Grid, and Unitil – are paying nearly a penny less — 8.4 cents a kilowatt hour over 20 years, with a levelized price of 6.5 cents.
The new prices are far less because the new wind farms are much bigger and the turbine technology is better. Jeffrey Grybowski, co-CEO of Ørsted US Offshore Wind, said the industry is changing quickly.
“I didn’t expect it to be this fast,” he told the Providence Journal. “The industry has accelerated beyond my imagination.”
The Rhode Island project is called Revolution Wind, and, as part of that project, Ørsted is negotiating a separate 300 megawatt deal with Connecticut. Terms of that deal have not been announced yet.
Ørsted, based in Denmark, announced on Friday that it was selling to Eversource Energy, the New England utility, a 50 percent interest in its Revolution Wind and South Fork Wind Farm (off of Long Island) projects, as well as a 257-square-mile development tract off the coasts of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The sale price was $225 million. Ørsted acquired the assets in November 2018 when it acquired Deepwater Wind.
Ørsted and Eversource were already 50-50 partners in Bay State Wind, which owns a 300-square mile tract off the coast of Massachusetts.
Central Massachusetts lawmakers tell the MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board that a commuter rail fare hike is unfair to the region. (State House News)
The Methuen City Council averted widespread layoffs in the police department by restoring $1.2 million to the department’s budget. Mayor James Jajuga, who announced earlier that he would revoke the current contract with superior officers, had asked for $1.5 million. (Eagle-Tribune)
US Sen. Ed Markey says the Green New Deal that he proposed with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is “a way of looking at this challenge…an existential threat to the planet.” (WBUR)
The Supreme Court ruled 5-4, with Chief Justice John Roberts joining the court’s liberal wing, to block a Louisiana law that opponents say would have closed most abortion clinics in the state. (Washington Post)
Sen. Elizabeth Warren had a plan to get the issue of her claims of Native American ancestry behind her, but it has not worked out. (Boston Globe) When Warren launches her presidential campaign in Lawrence on Saturday, she will do so in a city of immigrants and people struggling financially that was the site of the historic Bread and Roses labor strike of 1912. (Eagle-Tribune)
Congressman Seth Moulton, a Salem Democrat who has not ruled out a White House run, will give a speech at the Brookings Institution next week about his foreign policy vision. (Gloucester Daily Times)
Scot Lehigh says former governor Bill Weld could be thorn, if not an all-out threat, to President Trump if he takes him on the Republican primaries next year. (Boston Globe) CommonWealth reported earlier this week that Weld, the Libertarian Party nominee for vice president in 2016, recently switched his registration back to Republican.
The American Federation of Teachers says 24 state pension systems, most of them serving teachers, are investing $74 million in private prison companies. (Governing)
A Herald editorial applauds Mayor Marty Walsh for not doing anything to block a Chick-fil-A outlet from opening in Boston despite its CEO’s opposition to same-sex marriage, a stance that led the late mayor Tom Menino to tell the company it wasn’t welcome in the city.
A debate has sprung up in Cambridge over the use of the “n-word” by a school committee member speaking to a high school class doing a project on race issues that had the full word as part of its title. (Boston Globe)
Swampscott High School was just one of 349 schools around the country to be selected as a blue ribbon school by the US Department of Education, and Gov. Charlie Baker, a former town selectman, was there for a celebration of the honor on Thursday. (Salem News)
The new Lowell High School will cost an estimated $343 million, and the city will need to pay $129 million of that. (Lowell Sun)
Plans for new state oversight of the fiscal health of higher education institutions factored into
Hampshire College’s decision not to admit a new freshman class this coming fall, says its president. (Boston Globe)
Atrius Health and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts have inked a novel deal that will put the risk and spending decisions on Atrius for 65,000 Blue Cross members in a PPO plan, which is similar to its responsibilities for 65,000 members in an HMO plan. (WBUR News) Atrius, meanwhile, decided it would abandon attempts to find a merger partner. (Boston Globe)
Two bills have been filed that seek to address issues raised by the tragic death of Laura Levis, a 34-year-old who died three years ago after encountering a locked door at Somerville Hospital’s emergency room. (Boston Globe)
An artist in Fall River has forged a relationship with members of the New England Patriots. (Herald News)
After delivering new rail cars to the MBTA, next up for CRRC in Springfield — transit vehicles for Los Angeles and Philadelphia. (MassLive)
A Globe editorial applauds the MBTA’s decision to move a Red-Blue Line connector project up on its priority list.
Vineyard Wind, backed by Gov. Charlie Baker, tries to play some power politics. (CommonWealth)
New England homeowners, via Sunrun, participate in an electricity auction typically reserved mostly for power plants. (CommonWealth)
A group of physicians released a report rejecting the findings of an assessment conducted by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council on a compressor station proposed in Weymouth. (Patriot Ledger)
The Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks has conducted a survey of the Cape Cod National Seashore showing the impacts of the federal shutdown. (Cape Cod Times)
The Cannabis Control Commission approved a license for the first marijuana store not affiliated with a medical marijuana facility. It’s in Uxbridge and it’s called Caroline’s Cannabis. (MassLive)
A Chicago gambling company is betting big on Massachusetts with $430,000 in spending on outside lobbyists here as it angles to land a license to open a casino in Brockton. (Boston Globe)
The government shutdown has caused delays for thousands of immigrants in Boston waiting for court hearings on their status here. (Boston Globe)
Maybe not Boston’s finest: A Boston police officer wound up in Rhode Island hotel room with two strippers who apparently stole his gun. (Boston Globe)
A status report filing indicates there have been no plea discussions between federal prosecutors and Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia, who is facing fraud charges in connections with a startup company he founded. (Boston Herald)
The lawyer for MIchelle Carter says she will appeal this week’s Supreme Judicial Court ruling that upheld her manslaughter convictions for encouraging her boyfriend to commit suicide. (Boston Herald)
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post, accused the National Enquirer of extortion in an extraordinary account he issued that included threatening emails from the tabloid’s lawyer. (Washington Post)
Columnist Steve Krause explores the grim local news landscape, through the lens of his own newspaper, the Daily Item.
Nancy Watzman explains how the Colorado Media Project will attempt to strengthen local news coverage. (Medium)
More on Jill Abramson’s alleged plagiarism from one of those she allegedly plagiarized. (Columbia Journalism Review)PASSINGS
John Dingell, the former Michigan congressman who was the longest serving member of Congress in history, a master of its workings and, in retirement, a Twitter beast in his early 90s, died at age 92. (Detroit News)