Energy bill opens door to U.S. commercial offshore wind market
BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--DONG Energy, the world leader in offshore wind development, construction and operation, praised the Massachusetts State Legislature today for adopting a comprehensive energy bill that includes a requirement that utilities contract for 1600MW of offshore wind power.
"The adoption of this legislation is a landmark moment for Massachusetts' clean energy future and a victory for the Commonwealth's residents and businesses," said Thomas Brostrøm, General Manager of North America, DONG Energy Wind Power. "This bill will allow the creation of a viable offshore wind energy industry here in Massachusetts, delivering cost effective clean energy, helping the state reduce greenhouse gas emissions."
The world leader in offshore wind, DONG Energy made its first foray into North America last year by securing a lease area located in the Atlantic Ocean, approximately 15 miles off the coast of Martha's Vineyard that was designated and approved by the U.S. Department of Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).
Brostrøm added, "DONG Energy looks forward to the opportunity to bring clean, renewable offshore wind energy to the U.S. With this legislation, Massachusetts shows clear leadership in setting out a strong ambition for offshore wind. The offshore wind industry has the potential to create thousands of local jobs up and down the East Coast, and Massachusetts' has positioned itself to be the leader in making the industry a reality. Additionally, this creates the right environment for competition between the developers allowing the best value for ratepayers for any offshore wind contracts awarded."
DONG Energy is committed to delivery of a utility-scale wind farm with an installed capacity of up to 1000MW, enough to power over 500,000 Massachusetts homes. Based on DONG Energy's experience, the company expects a project of this dimension to create an estimated 1,000 new jobs in Massachusetts during construction and approximately 100 new jobs in the state to support the operational life of the offshore wind farm.
While there are several more steps in the regulatory process before construction can begin, a dedicated commitment for offshore wind is a critical step in the process. DONG Energy's Massachusetts project, branded as ‘Bay State Wind,' offers the Commonwealth an opportunity to bring clean, home-grown, renewable energy to the state's residents and businesses, while reducing carbon emissions and advancing the state's greenhouse gas reduction goals and Renewable Portfolio Standard requirements.
Massachusetts has some of the best offshore wind conditions in the world. A third of the potential offshore wind resources in the U.S. are located on the East Coast, which has similar site conditions to successful existing DONG Energy offshore wind projects in the UK, Denmark and Germany. With world-class wind speeds and ideal water depths of between 130-165 feet, Massachusetts will be able to garner the economic benefits and supply chain development of being the first mover to site utility scale offshore wind energy on the East Coast of the United States.
DONG Energy is one of the leading energy groups in Northern Europe. The company has built more than one quarter of the total offshore wind capacity in the market and currently has 19 projects under operation totaling more than (3GW) with another (3GW) under construction.
On August 1, 2016, the Massachusetts State Legislature formally adopted a comprehensive energy bill that included provisions that utilities enter into long-term contracts to purchase both offshore wind and hydro power. This is the first legislation of its kind that includes a specific carve out for offshore wind at a scale necessary to create a viable market in the United States. The bill is designed to address the state's growing energy needs through increased efficiency measures, grid modernization and a dedicated shift to cleaner, renewable sources of energy.
About DONG Energy:
DONG Energy is one of the leading energy groups in Northern Europe, headquartered in Denmark. Around 6,700 ambitious employees are engaged in exploring and producing oil and gas, developing, constructing and operating offshore wind farms and power stations, and providing energy to residential and business customers on a daily basis. Group revenue was DKK 71bn (USD 10.6bn) in 2015. For further information, see www.dongenergy.com
About DONG Energy Massachusetts' Project:
Bay State Wind is DONG Energy's first project in the U.S. As Bay State Wind, DONG Energy is proposing the construction and operation of a utility scale offshore windfarm off the southern coast of Martha's Vineyard. On April 7, 2015, the Company secured newly assigned project development rights to an ocean area south of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts that was made available for lease by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management ("BOEM") in a competitive solicitation. With water depths between 130-165 feet, this site sits approximately 15 nautical miles from the nearest landmass, Bay State Wind is proposing to use that site to build a utility scale offshore wind farm with an installed capacity of up to 1000MW.
About DONG Energy's New Jersey Project:
Ocean Wind is DONG Energy's second U.S. Project. The New Jersey competitive lease auction was the U.S.' ninth competitive lease sale for renewable energy in federal waters for potential offshore wind energy development. Prior to the New Jersey competitive lease auction, the Department of Interior's BOEM had awarded nine commercial offshore wind leases, including seven through the competitive lease sale process (two in an area offshore Rhode Island-Massachusetts, another two offshore Massachusetts, two offshore Maryland and one offshore Virginia). These lease sales have generated about $14.5 million in winning bids for more than 700,000 acres in federal waters.