Offshore Wind Is In Connecticut’s Future

The current population of the state of Connecticut is estimated to be 3.57 million people. In May 2019, state utilities used natural gas (57.0%), nuclear energy (38.4%) and renewable energy (4.5%) to generate electricity. Biomass, solar energy and hydropower are the primary sources of renewable energy in Connecticut.

Connecticut’s reliance on nuclear energy contributes to state’s high electricity costs. In May 2019, the average cost of electricity in Connecticut was U.S. 23.4 ¢ per kWh, which is the 2nd most expensive state in the United States. The average price of electricity in the United States is 13.3 ¢ per kWh.

Concerns over climate change have prompted Connecticut legislators to take action to accelerate the development of new renewable energy projects. On June 7. 2019, Governor Ned Lamont signed into law a bill that will mandate the procurement of 2,000 MW from offshore wind farms.

Connecticut utilities have recently committed to procure 300 MW capacity from the Revolution wind farm, which is located approximately 30 miles off the southern coast of Massachusetts. The Danish energy company, Ørsted will develop and operate the Revolution wind farm.

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) has recently issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to procure 2,000 MW offshore wind capacity. Each bid must include a project with a minimum of 400 MW capacity and will be operational no later than year-end 2026. All bids must be submitted to the DEEP by September 20, 2019.

Connecticut has now joined in the race to develop offshore wind projects along the eastern seaboard of the United States. States from Maine to North Carolina are moving rapidly to develop offshore wind projects for environmental and economic reasons. Environmentally, offshore wind projects are being developed to replace coal-fired power plants that are a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. Economically, states are competing to become the operating hubs for an estimated 20,000 MW of offshore wind projects that will become operational by 2030.

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