What is happening with Connecticut’s offshore wind farm?
Ørsted US Offshore Wind announced on December 20, 2018, that its Revolution Wind offshore wind farm received approval from Connecticut regulators for its 20-year power-purchase agreement (PPA). The wind farm will soon supply electricity to the state’s two utilities, Eversource and United Illuminating (UI).
What does this mean for Connecticut’s energy?
The PPA means that, once built, Revolution Wind will supply 200 megawatts (MW) of clean electricity to Connecticut through Eversource and UI with another 400 MW to be delivered to Rhode Island. Authorities say 200 MW is enough to power 100,000 Connecticut homes with renewable power, and according to Ørsted, will displace six million tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
Now that the contract has been finalized, development work on Revolution Wind is expected to accelerate, with installation work starting in 2022 and the project starting operation in 2023. Survey work for the wind farm already began in 2018.
Jeffrey Grybowski, Co-CEO of Ørsted US Offshore Wind said, “Connecticut is now an important player in America’s offshore wind industry. We’re proud to be building the state’s first offshore wind farm. We’re ready to make major investments in our local workforce and in the Port of New London to ramp up this project.”
Will wind power maximize Connecticut’s economic potential?
The project has critics, however. On December 19, representatives of a coalition of Connecticut labor and environmental groups sent a letter expressing concern that Ørsted was not trying to maximize the project’s economic impact for Connecticut. They fear the company may not use a type of base to anchor the wind turbines to the ocean floor that can be mass produced in southern New England. Instead, they believe comments made by an Ørsted executive hinted that the bases would be mass produced in Europe instead.
In a letter to the Ørsted co-chief executive officers, lead organizer John Humphries said, “We were both surprised and deeply disappointed when Ørsted’s Ryan Chaytors told a public gathering in New London last week that gravity bases are no longer being considered for these projects. Since the geotechnical surveys are still ongoing, it seems like a betrayal of trust and commitment, and it presents the appearance that after the merger, Ørsted is now more interested in protecting its European manufacturing and supply chain operations than it is in building a substantial presence here in New England that will maximize the benefits to local communities.”
Ørsted has yet to comment on the letter, but Chaytors, the project development manager, revealed that monopiles and jackets (made in the southern states along the Gulf of Mexico) were the only foundations currently under consideration.
Stay informed on electricity matters with CT Energy Ratings!
Connecticut can soon expect to see 200 MW of clean, renewable energy thanks to the Revolution Wind offshore wind farm. You can keep up to date with what that means for your electricity bill right here, and don’t forget, you can also visit https://www.ctenergyratings.com/electricity-rates to compare the choices and plans that are available right now.