National Grid, an electricity, natural gas and clean energy delivery company serving more than 20 million people in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, has filed for regulatory approval of a 20-year contract for energy from a new, 400-megawatt offshore wind farm dubbed Revolution Wind. The firm selected the wind project in coordination with the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources and the Division of Public Utilities and Carriers.
Originally developed by Providence-based Deepwater Wind, the project was acquired by Ørsted in a $510 million deal last autumn. The next-generation offshore wind farm will spread across 15 miles south of the Rhode Island coast in Deepwater Wind’s federal lease area, which is roughly midway between Block Island, R.I., and Martha’s Vineyard, Mass. Revolution Wind is more than 13 times the size of the 30-megawatt Block Island Wind Farm, the country’s first commercial offshore wind farm, commissioned in 2016.
The procurement was part of Massachusetts’ 2017 offshore wind request for proposals, which will result in a total production of 1,200 megawatts of carbon-free energy, of which 800 megawatts will be delivered to Massachusetts and 400 to Rhode Island. Local construction on Revolution Wind is estimated to begin in 2020, with the facility anticipated to comprise 50 offshore wind turbines. Commercial operation is expected to begin in 2023. Upon completion, it will generate enough electricity to power more than 270,000 Rhode Island homes annually.
Cost efficiency for customers
The contract price for energy and environmental attributes is a fixed, nominal price of 9.8 cents per kilowatt hour—which is 7.4 cents per kilowatt hour in 2017 dollars—over the term of the power purchase agreement, setting a countrywide standard for developing offshore wind projects at reasonable costs for customers.
“The Revolution Wind project is a dramatic leap forward in our efforts to expand affordable, clean energy in Rhode Island,” said State Energy Commissioner Carol Grant, in prepared remarks. “The project will reduce consumer energy costs while supplying enough carbon-free electricity to meet a quarter of the state’s annual demand. It is a game changer for our energy system, environment and our economy—one that will cement Rhode Island as a leader in the growing U.S. offshore wind industry and create hundreds of new jobs for our workforce.”
“Through projects like Revolution Wind, we are on our way to helping Rhode Island achieve 1,000 megawatts of clean energy by 2020 and progressing toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050,” added Tim Horan, president of National Grid Rhode Island.