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Shell-EDPR venture joins new wind hunt off Massachusetts

Mayflower Wind Energy jockeying with developers Bay State and Vineyard in latest state tender, to be awarded in November

Developer Mayflower Wind Energy – a joint venture between Shell New Energies and Portuguese utility EDPR – has confirmed that it has handed in bids in response to Massachusetts’ second request for proposals (RFP) for offshore wind generation capacity.

Mayflower submitted three 800MW proposals as well as a 400MW proposal to the Massachusetts electric utilities.

“We are very excited to submit these proposals to provide the utilities implementing the Commonwealth’s offshore wind policy with a range of options,” said John Hartnett, president of Mayflower Wind.

“The Low Price Energy proposal includes strong support for research, workforce training and economic development. Our Infrastructure and Innovation proposal adds significant strategic investments in port infrastructure and technology to the South Coast.

He added that the company's manufacturing proposal further accelerate the process of Massachusetts assuming a leadership role in offshore wind by including a major new manufacturing facility that would serve both domestic and foreign offshore wind markets.

Rivals Bay State Wind and Vineyard Wind had also submitted proposals for 400 and 800MW zones.

Bay State is a joint venture made up of Denmark’s Orsted and US regional utility Eversource, while Vineyard’s shareholders are Iberdrola-owned Avangrid and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners.

The RFP calls for selection of a winning bid in November with signing of contracts to follow before the end of the year.

Vineyard won the first 800MW solicitation in May 2018, but the project – the first large-scale offshore wind zone in the US – has been delayed because of federal permitting issues. How long it will take to resolve them is unclear – adding an element of uncertainty for an emerging industry vulnerable to federal regulatory disruptions.

Norwegian energy giant Equinor, which also holds commercial wind energy development rights in an area between those held by Mayflower and Vineyard, has not said publicly if it submitted a bid.

UPDATE includes detail, company comment

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