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Largest Offshore Wind Developer Submits Bid For Manhattan Project

Bay State Wind, an initiative between Ørsted and Eversource, have submitted a bid to create Massachusetts’ first offshore wind farm. This new system would be 25 miles off the coast of New Bedford and would include battery backup. They join other companies, such as Tesla and Deepwater Wind, that have offered proposals to create offshore large-scale renewable energy solutions for the Northeastern United States.

Ørsted was formerly known as Dong Energy and is the largest worldwide developer of offshore wind energy. They’ve aggressively been working with states in the Northeast to construct more capacity off their coasts and they anticipate to hit 6.5 gigawatts worldwide by 2020. The company has collaborated with New England’s largest energy provider, Eversource, who will be distributing the power the wind farm generates onshore.

According to the proposal, the new offshore project would create 1,200 new jobs during construction and nearly 11,000 opportunities during the lifespan of the wind farm. 500,000 homes in Massachusetts would be provided with this clean power from a capacity of up to two gigawatts. $300 million would be saved from lower operation costs during winter months.

“The partnership between Ørsted and Eversource brings together local experience, international expertise and unbeatable financial strength,” Thomas Brostrøm, president of Ørsted’s North America division, said in a press release. “This project is poised to be the most technologically advanced offshore wind farm providing energy at the lowest cost to consumers, all while bringing significant environmental and community benefits.”

Bay State Wind was launched in December 2016 and has been working on the bid for a utility-scale offshore wind project since. New Bedford would be the host for construction and the partnership already established an office there in November. Somerset would be the destination for operations, and a 55-megawatt battery backup facility would be installed there.

Deepwater Wind, another offshore wind energy developer, and Tesla has also made a pitch to build a wind farm off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard, which was announced earlier this year. This would hold a capacity of up to 400 megawatts in the first phase and would be paired with a 40-megawatt Powerpack facility. Deepwater Wind has experience with developing the United States’ first offshore wind farm in Rhode Island.

More submissions were received from Vineyard Wind, who have 400 and 800-megawatt proposals. They added incentives for businesses from Europe, where the offshore wind energy industry is booming, to move over to Massachusetts. If all goes according to plan, they had one of the fastest methods of getting the offshore wind farm up and running by 2021.

Further information, such as manufacturing costs, were not disclosed as companies submitted multiple variations of these wind farms. The Department of Energy Resources will be discussing these projects by next spring with long-term contracts being handed out by July 2nd. 

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