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Eversource Energy proposing wind farm off Connecticut coast

Eversource Energy and a Danish company are proposing a 200-megawatt wind farm that would be built 65 miles off the coast of New London in federal waters.

Eversource and Orsted announced plans for the Constitution Wind project Monday. If built, it would be the first offshore wind project to serve Connecticut.

“We are confident that Constitution Wind represents Connecticut’s strongest opportunity to meet its clean energy goals and become a national leader in offshore wind,” Mike Ausere, Eversource’s vice president of business development, said in a statement. “Our sophisticated understanding of New England’s electrical grid will pair with Orsted’s extensive offshore experience to bring clean energy to Connecticut consumers effectively and efficiently.”

Thomas Brostrom, president of Orsted’s North American operations, said the combination of the two companies provides “unbeatable financial strength.”

“Constitution Wind will bring the most experienced, dependable partners together to help New England lead the way in North America’s renewable energy industry,” Brostrom said in a statement. “At Orsted we are the global leader with 23 successful offshore wind farms developed across the world, representing 27 percent of worldwide offshore wind capacity.”

Orsted built the world’s first offshore wind farm in 1991, according to company officials.

Orsted will develop and construct the offshore generation and transmission assets, and Eversource will develop and construct the project’s on-shore transmission system. The project, if built, is expected to come online early in the next decade and will provide enough energy to power 100,000 homes.

The Constitution Wind project will be competing with other renewable energy projects for long-term power supply contracts under a request for proposals that the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection issued in December. The deadline for submitting the proposal was Monday and the proposal selected by DEEP officials will be announced in June.

Company officials say the other benefits of the project include reducing winter power costs by $80 million annually and generating $16.1 million in state, local and federal taxes.

Emily Lewis, a policy analyst with the Acadia Center, said wind power needs to be an important part of Connecticut’s energy future. The Acadia Center is a regional environmental group with offices in Hartford.

“We’re expecting there will be other offshore wind bids being made, including one from Deepwater Wind,” Lewis said, referring to the company that launched the nation’s first commercial offshore wind farm off Block Island at the start of 2017. “Massachusetts and New York already have mandates for wind power (as part of their overall energy mix) and if Connecticut doesn’t get involved, all of the other wind power capacity being developed will go to other states.”

Massachusetts has a mandate for 1,600 megawatts of wind power by 2027, she said, while New York is targeting 2,000 megawatts by 2030.