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Massachusetts offshore wind project

Submitted testimony on behalf of the of the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office in a proceeding before the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU). In the proceeding, three electric utilities requested approval of 20-year power purchase contracts for an 800 MW offshore wind farm 14 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard, developed jointly by Avangrid and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners. In addition, the utilities requested approval of annual “remuneration” payments from their customers of 2.75% of the contract value. Under Massachusetts law, the utilities can request remuneration “up to” 2.75% for accepting the “financial obligation” of executing the contracts. Bates White’s testimony argues that the electric utilities failed to provide adequate support for their remuneration request because (i) the utilities do not demonstrate that they have taken any risk under the contracts, despite asking for a de facto return; (ii) the utilities fail to provide any quantitative support for their request; (iii) had the utilities quantified the “financial obligation” of the contracts, they would have arrived at a number at or near zero; and (iv) the utilities’ numerous qualitative arguments fail to support their request.

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