Deepwater Wind in US offshore wind plus storage bid

The 144MW project would be one of the first of its kind in the world.

Deepwater Wind, the company which built the first US offshore wind farm last year, said it would bid on a 144MW pathfinder wind project paired with a battery storage system 12 miles off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard, in Massachusetts.

The project is set to be the US’s second offshore wind farm and one of the first in the world to install a battery storage system, provided by Tesla. Deepwater Wind chief executive Jeffrey Grybowski is calling it the “largest combined offshore wind and energy storage project in the world”.

“People may be surprised by just how affordable and reliable this clean energy combo will be. Offshore wind is mainstream and it is coming to the US in a big way,” he predicted.

Several other developers have submitted proposals for the project, including Blackstone-owned TDI New England, Eversource and Avangrid. Massachusetts said it expects to approve a proposal in early 2018 with construction to begin by 2022. Interest in developing offshore wind near Massachusetts is due to strong, steady winds in the area and a state government that has a mandate to build 1.6GW of the renewable source over the next 10 years.

Deepwater Wind recently finished the US’s first offshore wind farm last autumn when five turbines off the coast of Block Island, near Rhode Island, began generating 30MW of electricity. In January, the company won approval from New York to build a 90MW project at the eastern tip of Long Island, close to where the Massachusetts project is being planned.

The US lags far behind Europe, which has been developing offshore wind projects for over a decade and now has 12GW in operation and prices in the 8-cent range. However, states have accelerated the approval process for projects, with Maryland and North Carolina the latest to give early support for developers to press ahead with proposals.