Mayflower developers affirm commitment to the project

4C Offshore | Tom Russell
By: 21/11/2022 4C Offshore

According to a recent filing from Mayflower Wind with the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board (EFSB), the project developers remain fully committed to the project. A letter was filed by the developers in response to "developments and media speculations regarding the status of the offshore wind energy projects off the coast of Massachusetts."

Last month (20 October), AVANGRID, part of the Iberdrola Group, released a statement regarding its motion, filed with the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU), seeking a one-month suspension in the Department’s review of the Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) for the Commonwealth Wind project. According to AVANGRID this suspension would allow the parties to examine the effect of unprecedented commodity price increases, interest rate hikes, and supply shortages on the overall viability of Commonwealth Wind’s offshore wind generation project that is the subject of PPAs, including whether it remains economic and whether it can be financed under the current terms of the PPAs.

On 27 October, Mayflower Wind filed an Answer in support of Commonwealth Wind’s Motion to Stay. Mayflower Wind supported a suspension of the proceedings in order to assess and potentially address the impact of the current global economic conditions and to ensure that the offshore wind projects (which are among the few first-mover offshore wind projects in the region) are economic and financeable.

Mayflower Wind outlines in its recently filed letter that it did not state that its Clean Energy Resource or its necessary transmission connector projects were not viable, but raised reasonable concerns about the economics of the projects in light of extraordinary inflation and supply chain issues affecting the offshore wind industry, and expressed a desire for the parties to the PPAs to examine those concerns.

In its most recent filing, Mayflower Wind issued a  response to concerns of the project viability, stating the project is viable and progressing in its development despite challenges caused by extraordinary global macroeconomic conditions. Furthemore, Mayflower Wind is fully committed to the development and permitting of its Clean Energy Resource and its necessary transmission connector projects. Mayflower Wind also stated it is moving forward with approval of its PPAs n both the 83C II and 83C III proceedings.

The letter follows news on 10 November that Rhode Island's Energy Facility Siting Board has issued an order for Mayflower Wind to show cause, within ten days, as to why its application for part of the onshore export cable route should not be suspended until a decision has been made on the PPA in Massachusetts. Mayflower Wind has since requested an extension of time to respond to Rhode Island's Energy Facility Siting Board's show cause order.

Mayflower Wind is a 50/50 joint venture between Shell and EDP Renewables. It is developing an offshore wind lease area with the potential to supply over 2,000 MW.  In November 2019, it was named winner of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ second offshore wind solicitation. The joint venture was successful with a bid of 804 MW, which is expected to power approximately half a million homes.

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