Iberdrola’s subsidiary Avangrid Renewables and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) have started construction on the 800MW Vineyard Wind 1 project, the first commercial-scale offshore wind farm in the US.

The start of construction follows the financial close achieved by their joint venture Vineyard Wind in September 2021.

Located 24kms off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, the offshore wind project will produce power for over 400,000 homes and businesses in the US state.

The project is estimated to offset over 1.6 million tons per year of carbon emissions.

The Vineyard Wind 1 project will generate 3,600 jobs and is slated to enter into operations in 2023.

Avangrid CEO Dennis Arriola said: “This is an historic moment as we begin constructing the first major offshore wind project in the nation.

“We are proud to lead the way to a cleaner energy future by launching the offshore wind industry. The Vineyard Wind 1 project will significantly reduce carbon emissions so that we can have cleaner air and healthier communities, while also creating good paying union jobs and driving economic investment.”

The offshore wind project will be equipped with 62 13MW Haliade-X wind turbines from General Electric (GE). The wind turbines will be linked to an offshore substation from where the electricity will be transferred to two export cables that will land at Covell’s beach before connecting to the power grid at an onshore substation.

Iberdrola chairman and CEO and Avangrid chairman Ignacio Galán said: “With 15 years of offshore wind leadership, Iberdrola and Avangrid are more than ready to help the US benefit from the substantial opportunities of offshore wind including economic investment and job creation.

“Our offshore developments in New England and North Carolina/Virginia could represent a total investment well above $15 billion in the coming years.”

Iberdrola said that it will allocate an investment of over $35bn in the US between 2020 and 2025.

Presently, the Spanish firm is executing three energy initiatives in the US, that involve an investment of $11bn of investment in renewables and grids. These include the construction of the Vineyard Wind 1 project, the $8.3bn acquisition of electric utility PNM Resources, and the New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC) transmission line.

Iberdrola aims to have an operating capacity of 13.2GW of renewable capacity by 2025 in the US. The Spanish energy company also expects to invest up to $12bn by 2025 in network infrastructure to help decarbonise the economy.