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Bay State Wind partners with NEC Energy Solutions for Mass. offshore wind bid

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The country's first offshore wind project, the Block Island Offshore Wind farm in Rhode Island, started commercial operation in 2016.
Source: Deepwater Wind

Bay State Wind LLC will work with a Massachusetts-based battery supplier to incorporate a 55 MW/110 MWh energy storage system into the offshore wind developer's proposed 800 MW project.

Bay State Wind, a partnership between Danish offshore wind developer Ørsted A/S and New England utility Eversource Energy, said in a March 16 press release that it has signed a letter of intent to work with NEC Energy Solutions Inc. on building a hybrid project for Bay State Wind's bid to fulfill a solicitation for up to 800 MW of offshore wind power in Massachusetts. Bay State Wind had previously disclosed it would include a battery storage solution as part of its bid back in December 2017, but did not specify a partner until now.

According to Bay State Wind, the hybrid project would save residents $158 million in winter electricity prices per year and improve grid stability. Once built, the developer says, it will be the world's largest commercial-scale wind project that is paired with energy storage.

Thomas Brostrøm, president of Ørsted North America, said in a statement that NEC Energy Solutions' work in storage and its local labor pool will not only help the project, but it will also "help solidify Massachusetts as a global leader in the green energy revolution."

Bay State Wind's project bid is part of a joint request for proposals from New England utilities National Grid USA, Eversource and Unitil Corp. to build up to 800 MW of offshore wind. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker signed a 2,800-MW clean energy mandate in 2016, which requires utilities to contract for 1,600 MW of offshore wind.

Two other developers are bidding to build the country's next offshore wind project: Avangrid Renewables LLC and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners K/S's joint venture Vineyard Wind LLC, for its Vineyard Offshore Wind Project, and Deepwater Wind and National Grid's Revolution Wind project.

The added energy storage puts Bay State Wind in closer competition with the Revolution Grid project, which would get hydroelectric pumped storage from National Grid subsidiary FirstLight Power Resources's Northfield Mountain plant n Massachusetts.

The deadline for selection of one or more projects is April 23.