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New Report Highlights Offshore Wind as the Future of Energy in the Northeast; ML Strategies Client Deepwater Wind Ready to Lead the Way for Massachusetts

Wind is blowing up in the Commonwealth! A report from Environment Massachusetts shows that offshore wind could help power the state’s electricity needs 19 times over – and major generators are already working to make it happen. Among them is ML Strategies client Deepwater Wind, which has identified New Bedford, Fall River and Somerset as possible sites where it will assemble wind turbine foundations for its Revolution Wind project.

Environment Massachusetts’ March 2018 report “Wind Power to Spare[1] highlights two major findings about the offshore wind industry on the Atlantic coast: it is a massively abundant clean energy resource for the region and the technology necessary to harness it is advanced, affordable, and proven effective. In fact, even if the Massachusetts converted all of its fuel consumption for heating and transportation to electricity, the state could power eight times its own demand. Ongoing efforts to improve energy efficiency can further extend the power of offshore wind. Today, more than 8 gigawatts of offshore wind development are supported by state policy in five Atlantic states. According to the report, if state offshore wind targets and commitments are met, offshore wind in those states would be able to generate electricity equivalent to the power used by 3 million homes.

Atlantic coastal states use more than a quarter of the nation’s energy overall, and are best poised to harness the benefits of offshore wind. Thirteen leased offshore wind projects are now moving forward in the U.S. and could provide enough electricity to power approximately 5.2 million homes. In December, three companies submitted proposals to develop the first offshore wind farm providing power to Massachusetts, including Deepwater Wind’s Revolution Wind project.

Deepwater Wind built the nation’s first-ever offshore wind facility, the Block Island Wind Farm off Rhode Island, which has five turbines able to produce 30 megawatts of power. The company is now bringing its expertise to Massachusetts, where it has committed to building a local workforce and supply chain for its 400-megawatt Revolution Wind project. Revolution Wind would be paired with a first-of-its-kind offshore transmission backbone developed in partnership with National Grid Ventures, creating the largest combined offshore wind and energy storage project in the world. The system would support not just Revolution Wind, but also future offshore wind farms in the region. This cooperation will reduce infrastructure costs and save electric ratepayers money. The project is poised to create 2,300 regional jobs and nearly $300 million in regional economic impact.

The Revolution Wind proposal is currently under review by state and utility officials. If approved, construction work on Revolution Wind would begin in 2022, with the project in operations in 2023. Learn more about the proposal here.

Mintz Levin’s Energy & Sustainability group along with ML Strategies continues to monitor this and all related developments.  Please check our Energy & Sustainability Matters blog or ML Strategies’ weekly Energy and Environment Update for the latest.

 

 

[1]/  This report was not funded by energy companies; it was paid for by foundations that support Environment Massachusetts and its parent organization Environment America.

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Mark M. Higgins

Associate

Mark M. Higgins focuses his practice on corporate law matters. Before joining Mintz, Mark was a law clerk to the Honorable Francis X. Spina at the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.