The state of Massachusetts has selected Mayflower Wind, a joint venture between Shell New Energies and EDPR Offshore North America, to supply renewable energy produced from an 804MW offshore windfarm.
The company was able to outbid Vineyard Wind for the project, despite Vineyard Wind winning the first major bid for offshore wind in the US with the 800MW Vineyard Wind 1 windfarm. In total, the two windfarms will provide enough energy to meet 12% of Massachusetts’s yearly energy needs.
Mayflower Wind estimates that the project will be able to provide energy at lower prices than its original price cap of $84.23 per megawatt hour (MWh) in the long-term. The company also states that the project will be able to reduce the electricity rate by $3.7bn over the course of the contract, create 10,000 jobs in the state and reduce CO2 emissions by 1.7 million tonnes a year.
Mayflower Wind president John Hartnett said: “Development of the Mayflower Wind project will contribute to the building of an offshore supply chain on the South Coast and across the Commonwealth, helping to launch a new clean, safe and innovative sector of our economy. We look forward to working with all of our stakeholders to ensure a safe and successful project.”
Offshore wind in the US
Currently, offshore wind power in the US solely consists of Block Island windfarm, which has a capacity of 30MW and is located off the coast of Rhode Island.
US states have increased efforts to install offshore windfarm off their coasts in 2019. Alongside Massachusetts, New Jersey authorised the 1,100MW Ocean Wind offshore windfarm in June 2019.
The state of New York followed this in July 2019 by authorising two offshore windfarms with a combined capacity of 1.7GW, the largest offshore wind order in US history.
However, offshore wind power faces strict oversight from US government departments such as the department of the interior (DOI), which delayed the Vineyard Wind offshore windfarm in August 2019 to conduct further studies on the impact it will have on coastal communities.
Not only this, but wind power faces hostility from President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly condemned the energy source.