Mayflower Wind Bid Pledges Fall River Base, $81m Local Investment
FALL RIVER — If one of its proposals is selected as the third offshore wind farm for Massachusetts, Mayflower Wind plans to set up an operations and maintenance port in Fall River and spend up to $81 million on economic development programs on the SouthCoast.
The developer said it submitted multiple bids in response to the state's third offshore wind power solicitation, each with its own economic development package.
The largest project proposed would generate 1,200 megawatts of power and deliver the full $81 million for supply chain support, training and education, port investments, and diversity and inclusion policies.
Confidential bids were due last week and the public versions are to be released Thursday.
Though key details like the price of the cleaner power and the number of turbines planned remain under wraps until later stages of the selection process, the developers vying for the work outlined what they think are the benefits of their proposals.
Mayflower Wind and Vineyard Wind, the two developers already chosen to deliver wind power to Massachusetts, are the only firms known to have submitted bids this round.
House Speaker Ron Mariano said this week that he wants to change bidding requirements to entice more competition by the time the state seeks a fourth project.
A new Mayflower Wind operations and maintenance base at the Borden & Remington complex in Fall River would be in addition to the economic development spending proposed in each bid, the company said.
"The bids we submitted were formulated after months of conversations with local stakeholders who shared with us their vision for the future of the offshore wind industry. We took those conversations very seriously and developed packages that incorporate their feedback and support each of their diverse groups," Mayflower Wind CEO Michael Brown said.
Senate Ways and Means Chairman Michael Rodrigues of Westport said Mayflower's proposal to base its operations and maintenance efforts out of Fall River "is representative of the tangible economic benefit that our region has been seeking from our Commonwealth's growing offshore wind industry."
The state was looking for as much as 1,600 MW of offshore wind power in its latest solicitation, which would roughly double the amount of capacity already under contract.
But Vineyard Wind and Mayflower Wind both said the largest proposals they submitted would generate 1,200 MW of power, 50 percent more than either of their first projects here.
Vineyard Wind said last week that it had submitted two proposals dubbed "Commonwealth Wind," offering projects of 800 MW and 1,200 MW which the developer suggested would lead to thousands of jobs and would include "substantial commitments to environmental justice communities."
"We have used all of our experience with our existing portfolio to put together an incredibly strong proposal that, if selected, will ensure Massachusetts benefits significantly from its first-mover status in pioneering offshore wind at scale in the U.S.," Vineyard Wind CEO Lars Pedersen said.
"We have deliberately named our proposals 'Commonwealth Wind' to underline the broad benefit of affordable energy to the entire Commonwealth as well as the significant economic benefits that will be delivered to multiple regions of Massachusetts."
The evaluation team is expected to select a project or projects for contract negotiations by Dec. 17, a contract is expected to be negotiated by March 28, 2022, and a final contract is to be submitted for Department of Public Utilities approval by April 27, 2022.
— By Colin A. Young, State House News Service