Big turnout expected in New England offshore wind power auction

By Thomson Reuters Mar 27, 2024 | 5:02 AM

By Scott DiSavino and Laila Kearney

(Reuters) – Several offshore wind developers are on track to bid in the combined Connecticut-Massachusetts-Rhode Island offshore wind solicitation on Wednesday, including units of European energy firms Iberdrola, Engie and Orsted.

The U.S. offshore wind industry is booming so far in 2024, with several projects in various stages of development and construction, after a disastrous last year that saw developers cancel contracts and take roughly $9.1 billion in write-offs and impairments.

So far, Avangrid and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners’ Vineyard Offshore confirmed to Reuters that they planned to bid in the tri-state auction for offshore wind, which is expected to play a critical role in U.S. plans to decarbonize the power grid and combat climate change.

After contracts to sell offshore wind power to utilities in Massachusetts and Connecticut were scrapped due to rising costs from higher interest rates and supply chain problems, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island agreed in October 2023 to jointly pursue offshore wind to help get more projects built.

Some companies that canceled contracts to sell power in the U.S. Northeast in 2023 have indicated they have projects ready to be bid in upcoming solicitations. Those include Avangrid, units of European energy firms BP, EDP Energias de Portugal and Engie.

Other firms with projects available to bid in the tri-state solicitation that did not cancel power sales contracts – at least not in New England – include units of Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and Orsted, the world’s biggest offshore wind company.

Although Orsted has not canceled projects in New England, it has canceled contracts to sell power from offshore wind in New York, New Jersey and Maryland over the past year.

Avangrid, Orsted and Engie said they would wait to release details of any proposals until after the deadline for bids on Wednesday. BP did not return a request for comment.


Avangrid is a unit of Spanish energy company Iberdrola that is developing the 804-MW Park City and 1,232-MW Commonwealth Wind projects off Massachusetts, both of which had contracts with New England utilities that were canceled in 2023.

Avangrid is also building the roughly $4 billion, 806-megawatt (MW) Vineyard Wind 1 project off Massachusetts in a joint venture with Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners. The companies expect to complete Vineyard Wind 1 later this year. It produced first power in January 2024.

One megawatt of offshore wind can power roughly 500 U.S. homes.

Engie and EDP Renovaveis are in a joint venture called Ocean Winds that is developing the 2,400-MW SouthCoast Wind project off Massachusetts.

Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners’ Vineyard Offshore unit is developing the 2,143-MW Vineyard Northeast project off Massachusetts.

Orsted is developing the 2,000-MW Bay State Wind and 900-MW Sunrise Wind residual projects off Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Orsted also operates two of the four offshore wind projects operating in the U.S. – the 29-MW Block Island off Rhode Island and 132-MW South Fork off New York – and is building the 704-MW Revolution project off Rhode Island.

(Reporting by Scott DiSavino and Laila Kearney in New York; Editing by Stephen Coates)