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State PSC rejects offshore wind farm developers’ requests for more subsidies 

The PSC, in a unanimous 7-0 vote, rejected the request, citing the cost to consumers and the impact of possibly “corrupting” the integrity of the state’s bidding process.

Credit:  By Yancey Roy | October 12, 2023 | newsday.com ~~

Continuing a trend among Northeast states, New York said “no” Thursday to requests from offshore wind farm developers to rewrite contracts to allow them to charge more money for supplying power to the state’s grid.

In doing so, the state followed Connecticut and Massachusetts in rebuffing attempts by wind power companies to renegotiate in the wake of inflation, supply-chain bottlenecks and other economic turbulence hitting the industry.

Equinor and Orsted, two Scandinavian wind giants, had asked the state Public Service Commission to increase how much they could charge utilities for power generated by several projects in development but not yet built off Long Island’s shores.

The companies argued that rates were set in contracts awarded before the COVID-19 pandemic and now should be adjusted to account for inflation, rising interest rates and other related costs.

The requests varied for each would-be wind farm but ranged from 27% to 66% for the per-megawatt-hour wind companies could charge.

The PSC, in a unanimous 7-0 vote, rejected the request, citing the cost to consumers and the impact of possibly “corrupting” the integrity of the state’s bidding process.

The commission said the companies combined were asking for a $12 billion economic boost, an amount Commissioner Diane Burman called “jaw dropping” and Commissioner Tracey Edwards termed “just not doable.”

In Connecticut, a similar rejection led to the cancellation – for now – of what was to be the state’s largest offshore wind development. On Thursday, New York commissioners, apparently girding against possible blame, made repeated efforts to stress they weren’t canceling any contracts and any such decision would be up to developers.

A spokeswoman for Equinor, which has three wind projects in the works, said the company was disappointed and still is assessing the impact of the PSC decision.

An Orsted spokeswoman said the viability of “Sunrise Wind,” the company’s project planned off Brookhaven, would be “extremely challenged” without the rate hike adjustment.

“We will evaluate our next steps and communicate the status of the project as soon as possible,” Meaghan Wims said.

Source:  By Yancey Roy | October 12, 2023 | newsday.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial educational effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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