United States

United States

Connecticut sets course for offshore bounty

In a near-unanimous bipartisan vote, Connecticut's house of representatives has backed legislation requiring procurement of 2GW of offshore wind power over the course of a decade.

Connecticut's house of representatives passed the bill backing 2GW of offshore wind procurement (pic: Connecticut State Capitol via Wikipedia)
Connecticut's house of representatives passed the bill backing 2GW of offshore wind procurement (pic: Connecticut State Capitol via Wikipedia)

The bill must now be debated by the state senate, but it is backed by Democratic governor Ned Lamont’s administration.

The timetable is aggressive. The state solicitation for offshore wind would have to be issued within a fortnight of the governor signing the bill.

Tax credits for developing wind power in the US are expiring, so companies are rushing to start investing this year to get as much steel in the water as possible by 2023.

Significantly, the 2GW would be equivalent to the capacity of the state’s ageing Millstone nuclear power station.

The state is relatively small, with a population of some 3.6 million. In 2017, Millstone supplied 48% of Connecticut’s net electricity generation, according to government data.

Connecticut utilities are already planning to procure 300MW of the output of Ørsted’s multi-phase 700MW Revolution offshore project. Twenty-year contracts for 200MW have already been approved by regulators.

Connecticut is also partnering with Bay State Wind — a joint venture of Ørsted and utility Eversource — to develop an offshore wind hub in New London to support the 800MW project.

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