Boston wants to purchase offshore wind energy while companies bid for New England projects

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The city announced an agreement with Avangrid, one of the three large companies vying for a historic New England contract.

Turbines operate at the Block Island Wind Farm, Dec. 7, 2023, off the coast of Block Island, R.I. AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson, File

The City of Boston put its support behind a company vying for multi-state offshore wind contracts, which, if selected, would make Boston the first city to enter an agreement for offshore wind energy.

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu announced last week that the city is supporting Avangrid Renewables’s bid to provide offshore wind power for Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. The three states entered a historic agreement last fall for thousands of megawatts in energy from offshore wind. 

Three large companies – Avangrid, South Coast Wind Energy, and Vineyard Offshore – submitted their proposals to Massachusetts by last Wednesday’s deadline. If Massachusetts picks Avangrid, Boston could purchase up to 15 megawatts of energy, or about one wind turbine, as part of a future arrangement, the city said.

While states contract with offshore wind suppliers, Boston would be the first city to enter such agreements.

“Boston must lead the way in building a sustainable future, and we’re proud to set a new standard with a direct stake in innovation to create clean energy and good jobs for our residents and communities,” Wu said in a statement. 

Avangrid, whose parent company Iberdrola is a Spain-based electric utility company, submitted two project bids for the tri-state initiative. If Massachusetts chooses one or both, some of Boston’s purchased energy would power municipal buildings and some homes, the mayor said.

The 15 megawatts is equal to nearly a third of all the electricity used by Boston Public Schools every year and could power nearly 5,000 homes, the city said. Avangrid also offered vocational training to BPS students, which Wu said is a vital part of the city’s Green New Deal green job pipeline.

“This partnership advances our climate goals while bringing thousands of green jobs to our region, creating a pathway for generations to come,” Wu said in a statement.

The winning bids are expected to be announced in August. 

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