Problems At Park City Wind Project
The Park City Wind Project was set to bring green energy and jobs to the state. But CT-based Avangrid (the parent company of United Illuminating) withdrew from the agreement to purchase power from the project. While the project will be rebid, this does affect plans for an all-electric CT. But what caused the withdrawal and what does it mean for electricity rates?
What Is The Park City Wind Project
It’s no secret that CT has struggled with high energy bills. The volatile natural gas market, supply constraints, and winter heating demands have contributed to some of the highest bills in the country. On top of this, natural gas has contributed to climate change. This is why CT has been pushing to go carbon-free by 2040.
The Park City Wind Project was to be a major hub for renewable energy generation. The hub would have provided green energy for 400,000 CT homes per year (about 14% of the state’s electricity). Usually, power purchase agreement (called a PPA) are used to help finance green energy projects. Originally, Avangrid’s subsidiary, United Illuminating, had signed a PPA to buy Park City Wind’s energy. Now, Avangrid pulled their contract, effectively placing the project on hold.
Why Avangrid Withdrew From Project
Early this month, Avangrid sent out a statement about this withdrawal. Their statement mentions that Avangrid has worked on the plan for about a year now. But since last year, inflation, supply chain problems, and interest rate hikes has made the project too expensive to operate. While Avangrid did their best to make it work, they ultimately couldn’t keep their agreement under the previous contracts.
For this reason, the contract was terminated. This allows the project to be rebid so that CT can move forward with their all-electric plans. In addition, the rebidding process may help keep the Park City Wind Project alive.
How This Affects Energy Bills
It isn’t clear if this will delay Governor Lamont’s all-electric plans because another company can take over to complete the project. But, some critics believe that this will only lead to higher electricity prices. After all, given the current runaway costs of offshore wind, new bids on the project may be significantly higher than what Avangrid agreed to. However, most off shore wind developers believe as inflation subsides and interest rates fall, costs may lower. But that’s over the long term.
In the short term, this wind power jam may cause CT to rely on natural gas generation. Of course, this puts CT in the same problem of expensive winters and uncertain market prices. However, developers are stepping up to power wind farms off the Jersey Shore. This new project could bring wind energy into CT, which may keep green energy goals on track.
The Future Of Wind Power
The stakes are undeniably high with climate change on one hand and already high electricity rates rising on the other. Still, with the Jersey Shore projects pushing onward, off shore wind power is experiencing progress and problems. Avangrid’s withdrawal hurts, but new turbines are still going up. This means that whatever happens, wind power may still be in CT’s future.
The team at https://www.ctenergyratings.com will keep an eye on news that affects your CT electricity rates. Be sure to visit us to shop for the cheapest energy rates for your home.