3 New England states join together for offshore wind power projects, aiming to lower costs

Associated Press

Published: 10-05-2023 5:38 PM

Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island will procure future wind energy projects together rather than separately as part of a joint agreement the states’ governors announced Wednesday — the first such multi-state agreement in the nation.

The partnership could lead to the three states acquiring clean energy at more competitive and affordable rates, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said. Energy from off-shore wind projects is seen as key to meeting each states’ climate change goals.

“We can go further when we work together,” said Lamont, a Democrat.

The new multistate agreement, which could become a model for other parts of the country, comes as some offshore wind developers are seeking to renegotiate contracts they signed with states in 2019 and 2020 when costs were lower. Those costs include the price of steel needed for wind turbines and higher interest rates.

This week, electric utility Avangrid announced it was pulling out of Connecticut’s largest offshore wind project, Park City Wind, calling the current terms “unfinanceable.” Lamont said the state plans to seek bids again for the project in early 2024.

Energy developers will have until January to submit proposals to be considered for multi-state offshore wind projects that can generate up to 6,000 megawatts. Under the agreement, any two or three states will be able to choose a multi-state proposal and split up the anticipated energy.