February 12, 2020 Read More →

Mayflower offshore wind project in Massachusetts to cost $58/MWh

The Herald News:

Though the state of Massachusetts removed the requirement that the second contract for offshore wind power generation be more affordable than the first, the price of power from the Mayflower Wind project will still be cheaper than its predecessor Vineyard Wind, according to contracts filed with the state Tuesday.

Mayflower Wind had promised that it would deliver to Massachusetts “the lowest cost offshore wind energy ever in the U.S.,” and appears to have lived up to that commitment. Electricity generated by Mayflower Wind will cost 5.8 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) and the company estimates its project will provide the state with a total economic benefit of nearly $2.5 billion.

A joint venture of Shell and EDPR Offshore North America, Mayflower Wind was picked unanimously by utility executives to build and operate a wind farm approximately 26 nautical miles south of Martha’s Vineyard and 20 nautical miles south of Nantucket. The 804-megawatt project is expected to be operational by December 2025.

“I think what’s really noteworthy in this filing is the competitive pricing as well as the exceptional commitment to economic development,” Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides said. “At a levelized price, this is 13 percent below the Vineyard Wind price, in terms of the real price today.”

Contracts for Vineyard Wind, the 800-megawatt wind development already tapped by the state and utilities for clean power, called for a price of 6.5 cents per kWh. Both prices include the cost of transmission to the grid.

Theoharides said Tuesday that the difference in price between the state’s first project and its second shows “the declining cost for offshore wind energy generation for Massachusetts customers.” When taking into consideration Cape Wind, the unsuccessful wind project that was eyed about a decade ago, the decline in price is even more dramatic. When the DPU approved contracts for Cape Wind, the power generated from those turbines was to cost 18.75 cents per kWh with annual increases of 3.5 percent built in. The Cape Wind project faced opposition from lawmakers, fishermen, local officials, residents and environmental groups, and ceased development in late 2017.

[Colin Young]

More: Price of wind power continues to fall with Mayflower contract

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