Boston and Fall River, MA – June 2, 2023 – SouthCoast Wind, the developer of an offshore wind lease area off the coast of Massachusetts, which has the potential to power more than one million homes and businesses in New England with clean, low-cost energy, today released the following statement from Francis Slingsby, CEO, regarding its clean energy resource and its path forward.
“SouthCoast Wind has been working diligently with stakeholders over the past six months to seek solutions to the significant increase in projected capital expenditures and finance costs of our project. We believe our project can deliver more than enough clean power for every home in Rhode Island, as well as those on Massachusetts’ South Coast (Bristol, Barnstable, Dukes, and Nantucket Counties) – potentially ahead of other projects in development. In fact, we expect to have our federal permit in hand at the end of this year. In addition, our project will help meet state, regional and national climate goals, which at present are in jeopardy of falling short of target.
However, today, in pre-filed direct testimony with the Rhode Island Energy Facility Siting Board [Docket No. 2022-02], we alerted the Board that after careful consideration, SouthCoast Wind has recently initiated discussions with representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts electric distribution companies to terminate our existing Power Purchase Agreements and that we will rebid our combined 83CII and III PPAs into the next round in line with the path created in the recently released Massachusetts 83CIV RFP.
While SouthCoast has pursued, and is open to other solutions, and even after factoring in potential tax incentives; termination, and payment of a financial penalty for termination, has become the prudent commercial course to realize the Project due to material and unforeseen supply chain and financing cost increases affecting the whole offshore wind industry.
We remain steadfast that SouthCoast Wind is a much needed and viable project. SouthCoast Wind will provide substantial reductions in GHG emissions to help the region respond to climate change and meet statutory mandates for decarbonization of the electricity supply; enhance reliability and energy security for the region with a renewable energy resource with a relatively high capacity factor, especially in the winter months when the natural gas system may be constrained; and provide economic stimulus to the region in the form of investment, tax revenues, jobs and commercial activity. All these reasons drive the need for the SouthCoast Wind project in this nascent offshore wind industry that is intended to be the cornerstone of the regional energy supply for decades to come.
We continue to move our project through federal and state permitting and have the grid connections necessary to ensure delivery of 2,400MW of power, the full capacity of our lease area, without needing significant and expensive system upgrades. Again, giving our project significant advantages not available to other developers.
We are grateful to the Healey/Driscoll Administration for creating room for a rebid in the newly released draft RFP and look forward to being a valuable contributor to Massachusetts’s, Rhode Island’s, and all New England’s clean energy industry for decades to come.”
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. For more information visit southcoastwind.com.