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Mayor: Baker was right to hold offshore wind companies to their contracts

File photo from 2014 of Mayor Jon Mitchel touring New Bedford Harbor.
Brian Morris
File photo from 2014 of Mayor Jon Mitchel touring New Bedford Harbor.

New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell says the Baker administration made the right move in pushing back against offshore wind companies seeking to renegotiate their contracts.

Reopening the contracts would be a problem, Mitchell said.

“It would have caused us, Massachusetts, to lose leverage over the process in the long run,” he said. “It would have undermined the process’s credibility.”

Last month, Commonwealth Wind and Mayflower Wind asked for a delay in the Department of Public Utilities’ review of their contracts.

Amid inflation and rising interest rates, the companies are looking for ways to boost revenue. One option would be to renegotiate their power-purchase agreements with utility companies.

Mitchell said Baker would have set "a very tricky precedent” if he allowed the wind companies to renegotiate because of inflationary pressure.

“I don't think that would have been a wise idea,” he said.

The DPU did not agree to the delay.

Mayflower now says it will move forward with its existing contract.

Commonwealth Wind’s parent company, Avangrid, is still trying to make the case for contract amendments, but Avangrid said it wants the DPU review to proceed.

Jennette Barnes is a reporter and producer. Named a Master Reporter by the New England Society of News Editors, she brings more than 20 years of news experience to CAI.