Upon MA DPU approval of utility contracts, SouthCoast Wind’s workforce and supply chain development among other investments to get underway
BOSTON and FALL RIVER, MA – MAY 26, 2022 – SouthCoast Wind the developer of an offshore wind lease area located off the coast of Massachusetts today announced that its 20-year, power purchase agreements to supply the Commonwealth’s three largest utilities for 1200 megawatts of clean power were filed with the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities. SouthCoast Wind’s wins under the 83cII and 83cIII solicitations were merged for a single delivery, as SouthCoast Wind 1, at its interconnection point at the site of the former coal fired power plant at Brayton Point in Somerset, MA.
DPU approval of the PPAs will trigger the release of SouthCoast Wind’s 20-year commitment to expend $119.8 million on economic development investments that will support ports and infrastructure improvements, training and education, applied research and marine science, and support for low-income electric consumers among other initiatives. Policies supporting diversity, equity and inclusion are implemented across all the investment programs, as well as specific initiatives that include the hiring of firms owned by and/or committed to supporting minority and underrepresented communities.
Michael Brown, CEO of SouthCoast Wind noted the commitments made by his company are tangible investments. “SouthCoast Wind has binding agreements with more than 10 organizations in the region,” said Brown. “SouthCoast Wind’s economic development commitments will be distributed throughout the SouthCoast and beyond to help deliver positive economic change and social justice, foster local workforce and supply chain development, and meet the Commonwealth’s goals for clean, renewable energy,” he added
“With today’s announcement by SouthCoast Wind, we are one more step closer to the growing offshore wind industry unleashing economic opportunities and delivering environmental benefits to greater Fall River and our SouthCoast region,” said Michael J. Rodrigues (D-Westport, 1st Bristol & Plymouth District), Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. “SouthCoast Wind’s nearly $120 million commitment will not only further strengthen the partnership between the offshore industry and our region, but it will also support and increase education, skills training and workforce development opportunities for our residents and businesses, and I am excited about the lasting impact this investment will have on our region and our communities as we work to create clean energy jobs and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.”
Leonard M. Lee, President and CEO of the SouthCoast Community Foundation, whose organization is set to receive $27 million in funding from the company over the next 10 years, said SouthCoast Wind’s investments will positively impact the nonprofits his organization serves. “The value of SouthCoast Wind’s commitment to the South Coast cannot be understated,” said Lee. “The SouthCoast Community Foundation is excited to partner with community leaders and organizations to begin the work of developing an offshore wind workforce and bringing those opportunities equally to all members of our region,” he added.
Other beneficiaries of SouthCoast Wind’s economic development investments include, Buzzards Bay Habitat for Humanity, Mass Clean Energy Center, SouthCoast LGBTQ+ Network, Bristol Community College Foundation, Massachusetts Maritime Academy Foundation, MassHire Greater New Bedford Workforce Board, RPS Group, National Society of Black Engineers Boston Professionals, Gladding-Hearn Shipyard, and the Cape Light Compact.
SouthCoast Wind’s $120 million in economic development investments are the combined result of its 2019 Massachusetts offshore wind procurement, 83CII win for 804 megawatts and its December 2021 400 MW procurement win under MA 83CIII.
SouthCoast Wind’s 83CII proposal originally called for injecting that power into the electric grid via an interconnection in Falmouth, MA on Cape Cod. But given the Commonwealth’s need to get this power delivered sooner than later, SouthCoast Wind is seeking approval to shift delivery of that 800 MW to its interconnection site at Brayton Point. “With scarce interconnection capacity in the New England grid, getting 1200MW of contracted capacity into a secured location is a monumental achievement” said Bob Rio, Senior Vice President at Associated Industries of MA. “Time is of the essence in addressing this issue in order to meet our greenhouse gas reduction goals,” he added.
Brown added, “SouthCoast Wind is proud to be supporting the Commonwealth’s development of a vibrant offshore wind industry, one that will deliver clean affordable energy to residents and businesses throughout Massachusetts. We are also looking forward to further strengthening our many partnerships, investing in local communities and becoming a strong engine for economic and workforce development on the SouthCoast.”
Subject to future investment decision, the company will construct wind turbines in federal waters in the Atlantic Ocean. When operational in the late-2020’s the first 1200MW of the project will produce enough electricity to power nearly half a million homes annually and eliminate 13 million metric tons of greenhouse gases over the life of the project.
SouthCoast Wind’s outreach office is in Fall River, close to their new O&M port and a short commute to the home dock of its crew transfer vessels on the New Bedford waterfront. The company continues to plan for a second interconnection point for future procurements in Falmouth, MA.
About SouthCoast Wind
SouthCoast Wind, a 50/50 joint venture between Shell New Energies US LLC and Ocean Winds North America, is developing an offshore wind lease area with the potential to supply 2,400 megawatts of low-cost clean energy to electricity customers in New England. SouthCoast Wind is committed to zero harm, innovation, and industry development, and investing in our local communities.