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Commonwealth Wind moves forward with Mass. offshore wind agreement

Reuters · 11/15/2022 11:19
Commonwealth Wind moves forward with Mass. offshore wind agreement

- Commonwealth Wind said late Monday it will move forward with a submitted but yet approved power purchase agreement with Massachusetts electric companies and its 1,232-megawatt offshore wind project.

Commonwealth made its announcement after the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) denied in early November Commonwealth's motion to suspend its agreement. That motion raised questions about the future of Commonwealth's offshore wind project.

Commonwealth is a unit of Avangrid Inc AGR.N, which is majority owned by Spanish energy company Iberdrola SA IBE.MC.

"Avangrid believes there is a path forward for this project, and today made a filing ... so that we can continue to engage in ongoing discussion with all parties on these important issues," Sy Oytan, senior vice president for offshore project management for Avangrid, said in an email.

In October, Commonwealth sought a one-month suspension of the DPU proceedings and said the project "is longer viable because of recent global commodity price increases" due to "the war in Ukraine, interest rates, supply chain constraints, and persistent inflation."

Mayflower Wind, which is developing another offshore wind project off Massachusetts, supported Commonwealth's request for a suspension, but dropped that support last week.

Massachusetts utilities with agreements to buy power from Commonwealth and Mayflower are units of Eversource Energy ES.N, National Grid PLC NG.L and Unitil Corp UTL.N.

Mayflower is owned by units of Shell PLC SHEL.L and Ocean Winds. Ocean Winds is owned by units of Portuguese energy company EDP Energias de Portugal SA's EDP.LS majority-owned EDP Renováveis SA EDPR.LS and France's ENGIE SA ENGIE.PA.

Analysts at energy consulting firm ClearView Energy Partners said, " between parties may continue despite their recommitment to the submitted (power purchase agreements)."

"These answers appear to reduce, but may entirely resolve, the weeks-long conflict between the project developers and the DPU. ... The DPU could approve both (agreements) before year-end," Clearview said.


(Reporting by Scott DiSavino; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

((scott.disavino@thomsonreuters.com; +1 332 219 1922; Reuters Messaging: scott.disavino.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.))