NE4OSW Statement on Rhode Island Energy Request for Proposals for Offshore Wind

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 14, 2022 
Jennifer Delony, New England for Offshore Wind, 603-320-7043 

NE4OSW Statement on Rhode Island Energy Request for Proposals for Offshore Wind 

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – October 14, 2022 – Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee announced today that Rhode Island Energy (RIE) released a request for proposals for up to 1 GW of new offshore wind capacity.   

“The New England for Offshore Wind coalition is thrilled to see that RIE released an RFP for additional offshore wind capacity that has the potential to meet at least 30% of Rhode Island’s electricity demand in 2030,” said Amanda Barker, Policy Associate at coalition member Green Energy Consumers Alliance and the coalition’s Rhode Island State Committee Chair. “Together with the state’s previous procurements, this new capacity is a key solution for the New England grid and for Rhode Island’s target of 45% emissions reductions by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2050.”  

The coalition submitted comments to the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission for RIE’s draft RFP for offshore wind that underscore a need for specificity, stringency, and transparency in the utility’s new procurement.  

The coalition is disappointed that RIE did not recognize the value in creating a balance between qualitative and quantitative factors in the evaluation criteria and ensuring a transparent evaluation process, as the coalition requested in its comments on the draft RFP.  

“We believe that an increase in the weight given to non-price factors from 25% to 50% in the evaluation process would ensure that bid evaluators give appropriate weight to environmental impacts; greenhouse gas reductions; diversity, equity, and inclusion; environmental justice; and community benefits,” she said. “We also hope RIE and the Commission will consider increasing transparency in the evaluation process to ensure that the public understands the criteria for scoring bids.”  

The coalition appreciates that RIE will require bidders to commit to negotiating a transmission service agreement with the owner of regional transmission facilities, should regional facilities become available to the bidder prior to the commercial operation date for its project.   

“A commitment to regional transmission by developers is of utmost importance following the New England states’ request for information on regional energy transmission infrastructure,” Barker said.  

The coalition plans to submit comments for the New England States Transmission Initiative that is exploring investment in electric transmission infrastructure to integrate clean energy resources, such as offshore wind, to the New England grid. 

Coalition Comments 

In their comments to the PUC, the coalition urged the utility and the commission to select a project or projects that reach the maximum procurement of 1 GW and to give preference to projects that include additional procurements by municipal aggregations, government entities, businesses, or large nonprofit organizations. 

The coalition also asked that the evaluation process prioritize environmental justice, community benefits, and mitigation of environmental impacts. Additional details on the coalition’s comments are available at 

About New England for Offshore Wind 

New England for Offshore Wind is a broad-based coalition of businesses and associations, environmental and justice organizations, academic institutions, and labor unions committed to combatting climate change by increasing the supply of clean energy to our regional grid through more procurements of responsibly developed offshore wind. We believe that responsibly developed offshore wind is the single biggest lever we can pull to address the climate crisis while also strengthening our regional economy, protecting ratepayers, creating high quality jobs, and improving public health by reducing pollution.