Global offshore wind leader Ørsted and Eversource, the largest energy provider in New England, have announced this week their intention to build Connecticut’s first offshore wind farm, the 200 megawatt (MW) Constitution Wind project.
Announced on Monday, Ørsted and Eversource revealed that their Bay State Wind joint venture had submitted a bid to build the first offshore wind farm in Connecticut in response to the state’s request for offshore wind energy proposals. Their proposed Constitution Wind would be a 200 MW project built approximately 65 miles off the coast of New London, within the same lease area that they will be building the 800 MW Bay State Wind offshore wind farm.
Constitution Wind would generate enough electricity to provide 100,000 local homes with clean electricity and would deliver millions in savings across the state. Specifically, Ørsted and Eversource included in their proposal the following promises:
- Deliver $80 million in savings per year in lower winter power costs
- Commit $4 million to support the state’s cornerstone programs for low-income families
- Invest $600,000 in scholarships for energy-focused educational programs
- Commit $500,000 to local environmental partnerships
- Provide $2 million to a newly created Connecticut Economic Development Fund to spur growth in the local economy
- Generate $16.1 million in state, local and federal taxes that will support local government functions over the operational lifespan
- Make $93 million in direct value-add to the Connecticut economy
“Constitution Wind will bring the most experienced, dependable partners together to help New England lead the way in North America’s renewable energy industry,” said Ørsted President of North America Thomas Brostrøm. “At Ørsted we are the global leader with 23 successful offshore wind farms developed across the world, representing 27 percent of worldwide offshore wind capacity. We are excited to combine that experience with Eversource’s longstanding local experience. And together we have unbeatable financial strength.”
“We are confident that Constitution Wind represents Connecticut’s strongest opportunity to meet its clean energy goals and become a national leader in offshore wind,” added Eversource Vice President of Business Development Mike Auseré. “Our sophisticated understanding of New England’s electrical grid will pair with Ørsted’s extensive offshore experience to bring clean energy to Connecticut consumers effectively and efficiently.”
The Constitution Wind proposal was made by Bay State Wind, the joint venture created between Ørsted and Eversource to build the 800 MW Bay State Wind offshore wind farm. Last month it was reported that Bay State Wind had entered into a deal with Massachusetts’ based NEC Energy Solutions which would see them work together to include an energy storage component to the project.
If you look at the maps that Ørsted uses to promote both Bay State Wind and Constitution Wind you’ll note that they are the same (image to the right is Bay State Wind). However, they are in fact two separate wind farms — 800 MW and 200 MW respectively. Ørsted’s Head of Public Affairs, Lauren Burm, confirmed to me via email that “We will be deploying additional generation within our existing federal lease area to serve Connecticut utilities and consumers. The lease area can easily accommodate sufficient generating capacity to serve multiple Southern New England markets.”
In other words, the lease area that belongs to Bay State Wind can already boast 1 gigawatt (GW) worth of offshore wind capacity and could, in fact, accommodate even more. Further, the Bay State Wind joint-venture will seek to develop both the Bay State Wind and Constitution Wind offshore wind projects.