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SouthCoast Wind wants out of offshore wind contracts due to rising costs, will bid again

SouthCoast Wind CEO Francis Slingsby spoke at the Big Blue Conference in Bourne on May 2, 2023.
Jennette Barnes
SouthCoast Wind CEO Francis Slingsby spoke at the Big Blue Conference in Bourne on May 2, 2023.

A second offshore wind company is seeking to terminate its contracts to sell power to Massachusetts electric companies because of rising costs.

The action by SouthCoast Wind follows Commonwealth Wind, which made the same decision late last year.

Both still plan to build, but they say the original prices are no longer feasible due to inflation, interest rates, and supply chain issues.

In May, when the state issued a request for proposals for Round 4, SouthCoast Wind CEO Francis Slingsby told CAI that the company plans to bid again.

“We're very excited,” he said. “We're analyzing this closely, and we look forward to working with the administration to make sure we put in a very, very compelling offer.”

The preliminary deadline for bids is Jan. 31.

“We have capacity to bid,” Slingsby said. “We're going to read the RFP in detail and then make sure that we put in a very … compelling offer, when the time comes.”

In a written statement today, Slingsby said paying a penalty to terminate the old contracts has become the prudent course of action.

Maria Hardiman, a spokesperson for the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, said the administration hopes all parties can “find clarity on the next steps” before the fourth solicitation proceeds.

During the bid process, electric companies, including Eversource and National Grid, choose the winning bidder or bidders, with advisory participation from the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources.

The state also hires an independent evaluator to oversee the process.

SouthCoast Wind, formerly called Mayflower Wind, won contracts in Rounds 2 and 3. The project is a joint venture between Shell New Energies US and Ocean Winds North America.

Jennette Barnes is a reporter and producer. Named a Master Reporter by the New England Society of News Editors, she brings more than 20 years of news experience to CAI.

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