Rhode Island Energy rejects sole bid for offshore wind project
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — Rhode Island Energy announced that it will not move forward with an offshore wind project proposed by Orsted and Eversource.
The project proposal, known as Revolution Wind 2, came as a response to a request from Gov. Dan McKee for proposals for a new offshore wind project he put forth in October 2022.
Rhode Island Energy spokesperson Ted Kresse said that the proposal from Orsted and Eversource was the only one the company received, and that it did not meet all the requirements as detailed in the 2014 Affordable Clean Energy Security Act.
“The [Request for Proposals] looked to solicit an additional 600 to 1,000 megawatts of offshore wind to help meet the state’s clean energy goals,” Kresse said.
The company said that it came to the decision after four months of evaluating the bid, and that a comprehensive filing with the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission detailing its decision will be released in the next 60 days.
Rhode Island Energy President Dave Bonenberger said that the company is already in contact with “state and regional leaders” about new offshore wind opportunities, and he hopes to see progress in the coming months.
The Conservation Law Foundation released a statement after the bid was rejected, which said that the state needs to develop alternative energy sources as the Rhode Island Act on Climate law mandates that the state reach net-zero polluting emissions by 2050, and another law requires all electricity sold in the state be renewable by 2033.
“The climate crisis is already affecting communities here in Rhode Island,” CLF staff attorney James Crowley said. “We need new offshore wind resources to provide clean, renewable energy to Rhode Island, and it’s extremely disappointing that the state’s latest procurement process has not resulted in any new development.”
Gov. Dan McKee said that while he did not want to see any bid rejected, it is important that any proposal folows the ACES Act and keep rates affordable for Rhode Islanders.
“In the upcoming weeks we look forward to working with Rhode Island Energy, the Division of Public Utilities and Carriers, and other parties, to successfully advance a new offshore wind project procurement under the ACES Act,” he said.
He added that the original Revolution Wind project is still on schedule to begin construction later this year.