A tri-state call for proposals from developers who want to pursue wind projects offshore Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island attracted bids from four companies this week.

The proposals, which were due March 27, will be evaluated during the next few months. State authorities are expected to announce projects selected to proceed to power purchase agreement negotiations in third-quarter 2024.

The multi-state effort to boost offshore wind capacity marked the first time three states have come together to procure power and reduce costs by encouraging projects to develop at scale. The step was also taken as the U.S. moves toward a goal of having 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind capacity by 2030 and as developers move past last year’s struggles of rising inflation and costs, supply chain obstacles and higher interest rates, which led to billions of dollars in impairments.

Together, the states’ solicitations were for up to 6.8 GW of offshore wind. Massachusetts is targeting up to 3.6 GW of offshore capacity; Rhode Island, 1.2 GW; and Connecticut, up to 2 GW.

Companies submitting proposals included Iberdrola Group’s Avangrid Inc., which on March 27 said it submitted multiple proposals. These included the New England Wind project off Massachusetts, comprised of the 791-megawatt (MW) New England Wind 1—formerly called Park City Wind—and the 1,080-MW New England Wind 2. The project is near Vineyard Wind 1. One bid was for New England Wind 1 and another bid combined the two. Together, the projects could generate enough power for about 1 million homes and deliver about $8 billion in direct investment.

Additional bids were placed for single-state procurements in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island, Avangrid said in a news release.

“In powering up the first-in-the-nation Vineyard Wind 1 project, Avangrid proved that American offshore wind is possible,” said Avangrid CEO Pedro Azagra. “New England Wind 1 in particular builds on this momentum by offering a shovel-ready project that is prepared to start construction as soon as next year.”

US Offshore Wind
The U.S. is aiming to have 30 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030. (Source: Shutterstock)

New England Wind 1 could start operations by 2029.

Ørsted submitted a proposal for its Starboard Wind project, which the company said could power more than 600,000 homes. The 1,184-MW project is proposed for development offshore Rhode Island. The project, if selected, could result in more than $1.1 billion in direct, private investment, the company said.

“Rhode Island is the birthplace of offshore wind in America, and we’re proud to have built a thriving hub for this new U.S. energy industry with our partners in the Ocean State,” said David Hardy, group executive vice president and CEO Americas at Ørsted. “Starboard Wind represents the next chapter in Rhode Island’s offshore wind journey.”

Ørsted and partner Eversource are currently constructing the state’s first utility-scale offshore wind farm—Revolution Wind.

Vineyard Offshore was among the companies submitting proposals. Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners’ fund-managed company proposed the 1.2-GW Vineyard Wind 2 farm, building on the nation’s first commercial-scale offshore wind project off Massachusetts.

“Our project will deliver more than $2 billion in economic benefits, create opportunities for workers and local businesses and build on partnerships with local governments, organizations and institutions across all three states, and we have the local support to show for it,” Vineyard Offshore CEO Alicia Barton said.

SouthCoast Wind, formerly called Mayflower Wind Energy, was also among the companies submitting bids.

Backed by Ocean Winds, a joint venture owned by EDP Renewables and Engie, SouthCoast Wind is currently developing the 2.4-GW SouthCoast Wind. The project is being developed in two 1.2-GW parts off Massachusetts.

“After years of extraordinary work by our team, the SouthCoast Wind project is on schedule to deliver abundant and renewable power to New England’s electric grid by 2030,” SouthCoast Wind CEO Michael Brown said.

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Nopetro Renewables Breaks Ground on RNG Production Facility

Nopetro Renewables, the renewable natural gas (RNG) and biofuels-focused energy platform of Nopetro Energy, has broken ground on a new RNG production facility in southern Florida, the company said in a news release on March 27.

Located in Indian River County, southeast of Orlando, the $40 million Vero Beach Nopetro Eco District project will initially produce 3 million gallons of RNG. Construction of the project, which will refine landfill gas into RNG, is expected to be complete in early 2025.

“This facility marks a significant milestone for Nopetro and monumental step toward unlocking sustainable opportunities in Florida—and across North America—as we transform waste into a valuable energy resource,” Nopetro Energy CEO Jorge Herrera said.

The facility could meet up to 80% of the county’s annual natural gas needs, Nopetro said.

The company partnered with Mead & Hunt, an architectural, engineering and construction firm, to design and build the facility.


TotalEnergies, Sinopec to Develop SAF Unit in China


Amshore Secures Land in Texas for Battery Storage, Solar Project

Amshore Renewable Energy has secured about 1,500 usable acres in Texas to develop a solar and battery energy storage project, the company said March 27.

The Route 66 Solar + Battery Project will be capable of interconnection to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas grid and the Southwest Power Pool markets, with each having a capacity of between 150 MW and 200 MW on each line. Amshore said the region has an average solar resource potential ranging from 5.25 kilowatt hours (KWh) to 5.50 KWh per square meter per day.

The company said the project is available to utility companies and independent power producers seeking to grow renewable energy portfolios.


ExxonMobil, JERA Explore Hydrogen, Ammonia Project

JERA and Exxon signing
Steven Winn, senior managing executive officer and chief global strategist for JERA Inc., and Dan Ammann, president of Exxon Mobil Low Carbon Solutions, sign a project framework agreement on March 22 for Baytown low-carbon hydrogen and ammonia. (Source: JERA)

JERA Inc. and Exxon Mobil Corp. signed an agreement to jointly explore development of low-carbon hydrogen and ammonia in the U.S., JERA said in a March 25 news release.

The two companies will consider JERA’s ownership participation in the massive hydrogen production plant Exxon is building at its Baytown Complex near Houston. Plans are to produce about 900,000 tonnes of low-carbon hydrogen annually at the facility. It will have an annual production capacity of more than one million tonnes of low-carbon ammonia.

As part of the agreement, the companies will also explore JERA procuring about 500,000 tonnes of the ammonia from the facility to meet demand in Japan, the release states.

“Building world-scale projects for new markets requires supply, demand and supporting regulation to all come together in sync,” said Dan Ammann, president of Exxon Mobil Low Carbon Solutions. “We appreciate JERA’s leadership in helping advance the hydrogen economy and see this agreement as an important catalyst.”

Exxon is targeting production startup in 2028.

Electrolyzer Startup EVOLOH Raises $20MM to Scale Technology

NextEra Energy Resources and 3M Ventures are among the investors in the latest funding round of EVOLOH, a developer of electrolyzer stacks for hydrogen.

The California-based company on March 26 said it secured $20 million. It plans to use the capital to expand technology and introduce more capabilities for its Nautilus platform of advanced liquid alkaline electrolyzers. The compact electrolyzers use low-cost power electronics and don’t require corrosive electrolytes, which EVOLOH said reduces capital investment and footprint.

“By using affordable, widely available materials, EVOLOH’s electrolyzer stacks create an exciting opportunity to reduce the cost of green hydrogen,” said Rick Clark, vice president of strategy and product solutions for NextEra Energy Resources. “When produced with low-cost renewable electricity, green hydrogen produced with EVOLOH’s technology has the potential to become another innovative decarbonization solution offered by NextEra Energy Resources.”

India’s GAIL to Commission Its First Green Hydrogen Project in April

State-run natural gas company GAIL (India) Ltd. plans to commission its first green hydrogen project in central India in April, three company sources said.

The 10-MW proton exchange membrane electrolyzer for the green-hydrogen producing unit at the Vijaipur complex in Madhya Pradesh state has been imported from Canada, they added.

“Once the initial hiccups are sorted at the commissioning stage, we expect to start producing in a month's time,” one of the sources said. The sources declined to be named as they are not authorized to speak to the media.

The unit is expected to produce about 4.3 metric tons of hydrogen per day, with a purity of about 99.999% by volume, and would use renewable power. India aims to reach 5 million tons of annual green hydrogen production capacity by 2030.

The company's communication office did not respond to a Reuters request for comment.


Mytilineos Asks Canada’s Alberta to Approve Solar Projects on Farmland

Solar Panels
(Source: Shutterstock)

Athens-based Mytilineos Energy & Metals asked the Alberta government to permit two solar projects partly on prime farmland and promised to continue crop production, company officials visiting the Canadian province said on March 26.

Alberta, led by Premier Danielle Smith, said last month it will ban renewable power projects on prime agricultural land and impose buffer zones to ensure wind turbines do not spoil scenic views in the Rocky Mountain province. Alberta said it could make exceptions for power projects that prove agriculture can co-exist with power generation, and Mytilineos’ request is an early test of the new rules.

Chairman Evangelos Mytilineos said he told Alberta’s utilities and energy ministers earlier on March 26 that he supported their restrictions, even though they make development more difficult, costly and time-consuming.

Mytilineos last year said it would spend CA$1.7 billion (US$1.25 billion) to buy, develop and build five solar projects, including Eastervale and Dolcy, the two partly on prime farmland, from Westbridge Renewable Energy. The projects, which Mytilineos wants to build between 2025 and 2028, would have capacity for 1.4 GW, making Mytilineos one of Alberta’s biggest solar producers. Until Alberta clarifies its rules, Mytilineos cannot advance its projects by securing buyers for its power, the chairman said.

A spokesperson for Alberta’s government could not immediately comment.

Alberta’s restrictions may affect 57 projects worth CA$14 billion (US$10.34 billion), according to the Pembina Institute clean energy think-tank. Big companies will continue investing under the new rules, however, Mytilineos said.


Stonepeak Joins Shizen to Form Asian Onshore Wind Platform

New York-based investment firm Stonepeak has acquired a majority stake in TerraWind Renewables, joining Shizen Energy to develop onshore wind projects in the Asia-Pacific region.

Stonepeak will have an 80% interest in the onshore wind energy platform, with Japan-based Shizen retaining the remaining 20% interest in the company, according to a March 25 news release. Currently, the onshore wind platform has 30 MW of assets in late-stage development in Japan and a pipeline of more than 300 MW across the Asia-Pacific region.

Ryan Chua, senior managing director at Stonepeak, said the need for renewable energy in Asia is increasing as energy transition efforts accelerate.

“TerraWind will seek to address that growing demand through the strategic expansion of Shizen Energy’s onshore wind portfolio,” Chua said. “With a strong existing business, secured, long-term contracts and a robust pipeline, we are confident in both TerraWind’s potential and fit as part of our global renewables strategy.”


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Reuters and Hart Energy Staff contributed to this report.