Mass. Company Competes To Harness Wind Power For CT, Pitching Bridgeport As A Hub
Hartford Courant, October 7, 2019
By Stephen Singer
A Massachusetts company has submitted a bid to state energy officials to harness offshore wind power in a project tied to Bridgeport that promoters say would boost the economy of Connecticut’s largest city.
Vineyard Wind, based in New Bedford, Mass., submitted bids Monday for a 400-megawatt plan and options to develop projects that will generate 800 megawatts, 1,000 megawatts and 1,200 megawatts. The project, known as “Park City Wind,” was submitted to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection in response to the agency’s 2019 solicitation for offshore wind power.
The projects would be built in one of Vineyard Wind’s two federally designated lease areas south of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket “and would not be visible from any shoreline in Connecticut,” it said.
Lars Pedersen, chief executive officer of Vineyard Wind, said the project offers the potential to develop an offshore wind workforce in the Bridgeport area and a supply chain with Connecticut manufacturers. Over the last two years states along the East Coast have announced plans to buy more than 22,000 megawatts of offshore wind power valued at $85 billion or more in investment and economic development, he said in an email.
"Vineyard Wind envisions Bridgeport, along with New London and other ports throughout the region, playing a significant role in an industry that will create thousands of good paying Connecticut jobs for years to come,” Pedersen said.
A spokeswoman for Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim did not immediately comment on the project.
Vineyard Wind is a 50-50 partnership between Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and Avangrid Renewables. Avangrid is the parent company of United Illuminating.
Power for 500,000 homes back to top
Orsted, an energy company based in Denmark, and Eversource also are bidding to generate wind power off southeastern Connecticut in a project known as Constitution Wind that will have the capacity to power up to 500,000 homes.
Joint venture partners Eversource and Orsted have committed $57 million for upgrades to the New London State Pier to accommodate the industry and establish an offshore wind “staging hub.” The Connecticut Port Authority and terminal operator of the State Pier in New London announced in May a public-private partnership to upgrade the pier to capitalize on growing offshore wind energy.
Mayflower Wind, a joint venture of Shell New Energies and EDPR Offshore North America, also has submitted bids of its planned offshore wind farm to DEEP.
DEEP released its request for proposals in August, seeking interest in building offshore wind power resources soon after the General Assembly and Gov. Ned Lamont enacted legislation boosting offshore wind. The request for proposals seeks up to 2,000 megawatts of offshore wind. The request for proposal represents the state’s first solicitation dedicated to offshore wind development, broadening solicitations in 2018 when Connecticut bought 304 megawatts of offshore wind.
A Vineyard Wind project in Massachusetts is facing resistance. The proposal to install wind turbines off the shoreline of the Bay State was delayed in August when the U.S. Department of the Interior ordered additional analysis of the impact on the fishing industry.