(OW) Massachusetts’s electric distribution companies Eversource Energy, National Grid and Unitil have agreed to terminate their power purchase agreements (PPAs) for the Commonwealth Wind offshore wind farm at the request of the project developer, Iberdrola-owned Avangrid, which will pay USD 48 million in penalties for the termination that is yet to be approved by the state’s Department of Public Utilities (DPU).
As reported last month, SouthCoast Wind, the joint venture between Shell and Ocean Winds formerly known as Mayflower Wind, is also in discussions with the state’s representatives and utilities to cancel its PPAs for the first, 1.2 GW phase of its SouthCoast offshore wind project – and is expected to also have its contracts with the EDCs terminated and pay the termination penalties.
In pre-filed direct testimony with the Rhode Island Energy Facility Siting Board, where the SouthCoast Wind joint venture is also having hearings as one section of its infrastructure goes through the state, SouthCoast Wind’s CEO Francis Slingsby said that ”… termination, and payment of a financial penalty for termination, has become the prudent commercial course to realize the Project…”, even after factoring in potential tax incentives.
As reported over the past year, Commonwealth Wind, and later SouthCoast Wind, submitted to the DPU that under the power purchase agreements, which had been undergoing review since April 2022, the projects were no longer in a good economic position due to the current macroeconomic conditions, with Avangrid saying that under the existing contracts with the EDCs, its project was no longer viable.
The Massachusets DPU approved the PPAs for both the 1.2 GW Commonwealth Wind and the 1.2 GW SouthCoast projects at the end of December last year.
When Avangrid filed a motion to dismiss the approval proceedings earlier that month, the company said it planned to re-apply at the state’s then-upcoming offshore wind solicitation. Shell and Ocean Winds also said they planned to rebid in the next offshore wind solicitation round.