Six renewable projects advance in New England Clean Power procurement process

By Mary Serreze MASS LIVE October 31, 2016

Developers of six large renewable projects have been selected to begin contract negotiations with utilities in three New England states that are collaborating to procure clean energy.

Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island last year joined forces to solicit proposals for large-scale renewable projects. The New England Clean Energy RFP drew 24 responses. Last week, a half-dozen projects totaling about 460 megawatts were selected to advance.

They are Ranger Solar, with 220 megawatts in Connecticut, Maine, and New Hampshire; Deepwater Wind’s 26-MW solar facility in Connecticut; Ameresco’s 20-MW solar project in Connecticut; Antrim Wind’s 26-MW wind project in New Hampshire; EverPower’s 126-MW Cassadaga wind project in western New York; and two projects from RES Americas, reports RTO Insider.

Not all of the six projects will necessarily obtain approved contracts. Project developers must complete all environmental, permitting, siting and regulatory requirements.

The states will require electric distribution utilities to enter contracts with the bidders by Jan. 15, and file the contracts with state regulators by March 1.

Major transmission projects did not make the cut this time, including Eversource Energy’s Northern Pass and Anbaric Transmission’s Vermont Green Line. Transmission projects involving Maine wind power were rejected, and Eversource’s Clean Energy Connect between Massachusetts and New York also did not advance.

However, there will be another chance for the transmission projects in the near future.

Massachusetts will issue its own RFP this spring to procure large-scale Class I renewables. Governor Charlie Baker and the state Legislature this year passed an energy bill that enables long-term contracts between utilities and the clean power generators.

An Eversource spokesman in a statement expressed optimism that Northern Pass, a controversial project which would transmit Canadian hydropower into New England, is well-positioned for the upcoming Massachusetts procurement process.

“We are pleased with the key approvals the project continues to receive and look forward to participating in the April solicitation for large-scale hydroelectricity,” said Bill Quinlan, president of Eversource New Hampshire operations. “The region’s energy landscape is shifting quickly. Northern Pass, with its 1,090 MW of clean hydropower, and permitting well underway on both sides of the border, is in a strong position to play an important role in helping the region achieve a cleaner energy future.”

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