Rhode Island Opens Public Comment Period for Offshore Wind RFP

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A 30-day public comment period for a drafted Rhode Island offshore wind procurement request for proposals is open through October 7, says the state’s Office of Energy Resources.

The state’s primary utility company, Rhode Island Energy, is administering the RFP and will issue the procurement to the market no later than Oct. 15, 2022.

In July, Gov. Dan McKee signed into law historic clean energy legislation that seeks to expand Rhode Island’s offshore wind energy resources. The new law requires a market-competitive procurement for between 600 MW and 1,000 MW of newly developed offshore wind capacity.

“Rhode Island is home to the nation’s first offshore wind farm making us a leader in the blue economy,” states McKee. “Offshore wind is a clean and reliable source of energy that will be essential for meeting our new 100 percent renewable energy by 2033 goal and our Act on Climate emissions reductions target. This public comment period gives stakeholders an opportunity to make their voices heard during the RFP process. This is an important step toward developing an RFP that will effectively help to reach our climate, economic and environmental goals.”

“Offshore wind is an incredible opportunity for our state, and we’re dedicated to making sure that every Rhode Islander has the chance to participate in its economic and environmental benefits,” comments Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos. “This massive addition to our offshore capacity will set our pace in pursuit the most ambitious path to 100 percent renewable electricity in the nation. We are looking forward to hearing from constituents about how we can expand in a way that feels equitable and accessible to all Rhode Islanders.

The RFP calls for an additional 600 to 1,000 MW of offshore wind, which has the potential to meet at least 30% of Rhode Island’s estimated 2030 electricity demand. This electricity from the project has the potential to power about 340,000 homes each year. When added to the 30 MW Block Island Wind farm and the planned 400 MW Revolution Wind project, about half of the state’s project energy needs will be powered by offshore wind.

“Offshore wind is an important clean energy resource to have in our portfolio because it offers a number of unique advantages,” says Interim State Energy Commissioner Chris Kearns. “As a steady resource, offshore wind can assist our state to meet high energy demands, particularly in the winter months. The public comment period will provide stakeholders with the opportunity to express their thoughts on the drafted RFP.”

The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) will be collecting public comments on the drafted RFP through October 7, 2022, and will conduct a public hearing on September 21, 2022, at 9:00 a.m. Rhode Island Energy will review and consider the comments prior to issuing the final RFP to the offshore wind market for competitive proposals in mid-October. The draft RFP may be viewed at the following URL, along with instructions for how to submit a public comment and attend the hearing here.

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