CT Selects Bids For Offshore Wind, Solar And Nuclear

As part of a request for proposals (RFP) for zero-carbon electric generation, Connecticut has selected bids for nine solar, one offshore wind and two nuclear power projects.

The solicitations were conducted under Public Act 17-3, An Act Concerning Zero Carbon Solicitation and Procurement, requiring the state to conduct an appraisal of nuclear power-generating facilities and solicit bids for zero-carbon electricity-generating resources.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, D-Conn., and Robert Klee, commisioner of the state’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), announced the selections on Friday.

“The selection of this diverse portfolio of zero-carbon resources ensures that Connecticut is doing its part to address climate change,” said Klee.

According to the state, the approved selections will secure the at-risk Millstone Power Station, Connecticut’s only nuclear plant, and provide energy from the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant in New Hampshire. The selections will also add an additional 100 MW of offshore wind from the Revolution Wind Expansion Project (building upon Connecticut’s prior selection of 200 MW) and create 165 MW of new solar generation located in Connecticut and throughout New England. The selections in this procurement are equivalent to 45% of Connecticut’s electric load.

The Millstone selection follows the findings by DEEP and the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) that the 2,100 MW Millstone units are at risk of early retirement based on disclosed financial statements and insufficient projected energy market revenues from an increasingly gas-dominated market.

In June, Connecticut made its first selection of offshore wind for 200 MW from Deepwater Wind’s Revolution Wind project. This expansion announced on Friday builds upon that selection with an additional 100 MW of power at a price lower than the previous procurement. The economic benefits of this incremental selection are expected to result in an additional $7.5 million to enhance the New London Port, $3 million to fund the improvement of marine infrastructure in the Port of New London to support the port’s existing maritime-dependent businesses, $700,000 in various additional economic development, and nearly $2.5 million in education-related activities with UConn, Mystic Aquarium and other educational partners.

The average levelized cost of the nine selected solar projects is about 4.9 cents/kWh, approaching parity with the market price of energy, according to the state.

The selected solar projects in Connecticut are Montville Energy Center LLC, Black Hill Point Energy Center LLC (paired with energy storage) and Gravel Pit Solar. The solar projects throughout the rest of New England include Tilton Heights Energy Center LLC in New Hampshire, Steel Mill Solar LLC in New Hampshire, Old Mill Solar LLC in Maine, Keay Brook Energy Center LLC in Maine, GRE-3-ME-SACO in Maine (paired with energy storage), and Kennebec PV Partners LLC in Maine.

According to the state, over 100 renewable energy projects bid into the RFP, including numerous solar projects, land-based and offshore wind, and existing hydropower. Nearly the entire procurement authority under Public Act 17-3 was used in the procurement. Assuming all of the selected projects successfully enter into contracts and are approved by PURA, Connecticut will retain approximately 17% of total load for additional renewable procurement authority in future RFPs.

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