News & Articles

Included here since this is a subject of particular relevance due to the lack of federal action on climate change and also because the issue of states’ rights has a long and turbulent history. In this highly significant ruling, the Supreme Court once again upheld the right of states to set power generation policies that address perceived environmental deficiencies. This is another setback for coal (and gas – albeit to a lesser extent) and also has significant positive implications for renewables.

Surprisingly (for some) at the world’s largest oil and gas conference – CERAWeek in Houston – the spotlight was on offshore wind. This Axios article attributes a large part of the reason to a changing ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) landscape for oil companies although we think a major driver may simply be shareholder pressure. Regardless of the cause – change is very much in the wind (pun intended).

New York today closed the bidding process on its 800 megawatt (or more if economically justified) bidding round for offshore wind. Four separate developers submitted bids – including Denmark’s Orsted (Sunrise Wind with Eversource) and CIP (Liberty Wind with Avangrid in addition to Anbaric on transmission). Vineyard announced that it submitted three proposals – the largest and cheapest of which would be 1,200 megawatts – the largest offshore project in the US to date. Results are due to be announced in April.

Governor Raimondo announced the price for the nation’s second commercial-scale offshore wind contract: an impressive $74 per megwatt hour for electricity from Orsted’s 400 megawatt ‘Revolution Wind’ project offshore Rhode Island. And critically, the deal is projected to save Rhode Island about $90 million in energy costs over the life of the contract, or about 50 cents per month for the typical electric customer in the state.

The Green New Deal will statutorily mandate New York’s power be 100 percent carbon-free by 2040, the most aggressive goal in the United States and five years ahead of a target recently adopted by California. The cornerstone of this new mandate is a significant increase of the state’s successful Clean Energy Standard mandate from 50 percent to 70 percent renewable electricity by 2030. The most significant component of this globally unprecedented ramp-up of renewable energy includes an increase in the offshore wind target to 9,000 megawatts by 2035 from 2,400 megawatts currently.

Three developers backed by major European energy companies paid a record $405 million to gain access to 390,000 acres of federal waters nearly 20 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. These firms will each pay $135 million to the federal government for the rights to develop wind projects in their lease blocks. The winning companies are Vineyard Wind, Mayflower Wind (Shell & EDPR) and Equinor.

COWI, a leading international, engineering and environmental consulting firm, announced plans to hire an additional 80-100 people for its Boston office over the next three years. These hires are directly related to Vineyard Wind’s 800 MW offshore wind project located just off Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.

With the combined organization and asset portfolio, Ørsted will have an offshore wind portfolio of just under 9 GW and will be able to deliver clean energy to the seven states on the US East Coast that have already committed to build in total more than 10 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030. The transaction is subject to clearance by the US competition authorities and is expected to close by end of 2018.

Massachusetts electricity users will save about $1.4 billion over 20 years from the first commercial-scale offshore wind farm in the U.S.
Avangrid Inc. and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, joint developers of the 800-megawatt project south of Martha’s Vineyard, expect to provide power and renewable energy credits for a stunningly low 6.5 cents a kilowatt-hour.

Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) said Wednesday it has selected Deepwater Wind for the state’s first foray into offshore wind. The company’s Revolution Wind project will provide 200 MW to the state (along with 400 MW to Rhode Island).

Governor Gina Raimondo announced today that Rhode Island has selected Deepwater Wind, the Rhode Island-based clean energy developer, to construct a new, 400-megawatt offshore wind farm. The Revolution Wind project – more than ten times the size of the Block Island Wind Farm – was selected through a competitive offshore wind procurement process in collaboration with Massachusetts.

The state selected a group made up of a Danish investment firm and a Spanish utility, to erect 800 MW of turbines on the ocean bottom about 15 miles off Martha’s Vineyard. This project will generate enough electricity to power a half a million homes. This announcement broke the ‘largest to date’ offshore wind award set by Rhode Island only moments earlier.

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center has released a report on the workforce needs and economic impact of the emerging offshore wind industry, finding that the deployment of 1,600 MW of offshore wind is estimated to create between 2,270 and 3,170 job years — defined as one person working full-time for one year — during construction over the next 10 years and generate between $675 million and $800 million in direct economic output in Massachusetts.

The purpose of the public event, on the 9 May, is to provide an update on BOEM’s commercial leasing process for the New York Bight, as well as present preliminary data and analysis that will inform the Area Identification process.
At the event, which will be held at the Best Western Plus Robert Treat Hotel, the members of the public will have an opportunity to listen and ask questions or give comments. The BOEM New York Bight Renewable Energy Task Force is an intergovernmental group, with the Task Force members including Federal officials and elected state, local, and tribal officials, and/or designated member representatives.

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke today announced the proposed lease sale of two additional areas offshore Massachusetts for commercial wind energy leasing, totaling nearly 390,000 acres or a total theoretical capacity in excess of 3,000 megawatts of offshore wind.
This proposed lease sale notice provides detailed information concerning the area available for leasing, the proposed lease provisions and conditions, auction details (e.g., criteria for evaluating competing bids and award procedures) and lease execution.

At the annual CERAWeek oil and gas conference in Houston, some of the most powerful figures in global energy markets sent a clear signal: The world will and should move to a lower-carbon future: albeit on their terms (which is another matter).
Taken together, the speeches — and the scarcity of environmental voices onstage — provided a window into how the oil industry believes energy transition should unfold i.e. slowly and in accordance with the hydrocarbon industry agenda.

Today, Governor Phil Murphy made good on his campaign promise to make New Jersey one of the nation’s leaders in offshore wind power. Governor Murphy signed an Executive Order that will commit New Jersey to 3,500 MW by 2030. This is the largest state offshore wind goal in America and enough to power 1.5 million homes. Today’s action sends a strong signal to the booming global offshore wind industry that New Jersey is committed to building a clean energy economy and leading the nation in pursuit of this critically needed resource.

The Masterplan will initially implement the procurement of at least 800 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind over the next two years and will then help to achieve the 2,400 MW offshore wind target by 2030 – thereby supporting Governor Cuomo’s mandate of 50% electricity from renewables by 2030. The study estimates that thousands of new jobs will be created in New York’s emerging offshore wind industry and is backed by more than 20 scientific studies and industry analyses.

Governor-elect Phil Murphy, a former Wall Street executive and diplomat with no previous elected experience but deep pockets and strong ties to the Democratic Party, easily defeated Republican Kim Guadagno Tuesday to succeed Chris Christie as New Jersey’s governor. He notably campaigned on a promise to implement 3,500 MW of offshore wind by 2030.

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