Developers complete early-stage commissioning work to deliver first ever power from offshore wind to Massachusetts
Avangrid, Inc. (NYSE: AGR), a leading sustainable energy company and member of the Iberdrola Group, and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), a global leader in greenfield renewable energy investments, today announced that power from the Vineyard Wind project was delivered to the New England grid for the first time. As part of the initial commissioning process, at 11:52PM on Tuesday, January 2, 2024, one turbine delivered approximately five megawatts of power, with additional testing expected to happen both on and offshore in the coming weeks. The project expects to have five turbines operating at full capacity early in 2024.
“This is a historic moment for the American offshore wind industry,” said Governor Maura Healey. “Soon, Vineyard Wind will be producing power equivalent of over 400,000 Massachusetts households. This is clean, affordable energy made possible by the many advocates, public servants, union workers, and business leaders who worked for decades to accomplish this achievement. As we look ahead, Massachusetts is on a path toward energy independence thanks to our nation-leading work to stand up the offshore wind industry.”
“2023 was a historic year for offshore wind defined by steel in the water and people at work. Today, we begin a new chapter and welcome 2024 by delivering the first clean offshore wind power to the grid in Massachusetts,” said Avangrid CEO Pedro Azagra. “We’ve arrived at a watershed moment for climate action in the U.S., and a dawn for the American offshore wind industry. As we build on this tremendous progress and work to deliver the full capacity of this historic project, we continue to stand proudly with all the partners that made this achievement possible, including the Biden Administration and the Healey-Driscoll Administration.”
“This truly is a milestone for offshore wind and the entire renewable industry in North America. For the first time we have power flowing to the American consumers from a commercial-scale wind project, which marks the dawn of a new era for American renewables and the green transition,” said Tim Evans, Partner at CIP and Head of North America. “By delivering first power, we have broken new ground and shown a viable path forward with power that is renewable, locally produced, and affordable. Much of the credit for this milestone must go to our local partners, labor leaders and the project’s skilled union workforce, and local communities from New Bedford to Barnstable.”
Power from the projects interconnects to the New England grid in Barnstable, transmitted by underground cables that connect to a substation further inland on Cape Cod. Once completed, the project will consist of 62 wind turbines to generate 806 Megawatts, enough to power more than 400,000 homes and businesses in Massachusetts.
Vineyard Wind 1 is jointly owned by Avangrid and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners through its flagship fund, CI II and III. The project is being developed and constructed by Avangrid and Vineyard Offshore, CIP’s affiliate development company working on U.S. offshore projects. In August 2022, Avangrid signed an agreement to assume responsibility as the operations and maintenance services provider for Vineyard Wind 1 once the project achieves commercial operations.
“I congratulate Vineyard Wind on this important, hard-won milestone, demonstrating yet again that offshore wind in America is real, and that the Port of New Bedford well-suited to support the industry,” said New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell. “This is a great way to kick off 2024.”
“This announcement is a historic step towards ensuring that the Commonwealth plays its role in combating the climate crisis and is representative of the enormous potential that Massachusetts has to be a regional hub for the offshore wind industry,” said House Speaker Ronald J. Mariano. “I want to thank the folks behind the Vineyard Wind project for their commitment to delivering clean energy to the people of Massachusetts, as well as my colleagues in the House and our partners in state government who helped to make this milestone a reality.”
“It is heartening to see the Vineyard Wind 1 project take this meaningful step forward towards supplying clean to the Commonwealth’s grid,” said Senate President Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland). “I look forward to seeing the project continue to come fully online, as Massachusetts continues to set an example for innovative solutions to solving the climate crisis.”
“This is a historic day for the Commonwealth, as we take the first step towards transitioning to the energy of the future! We now can realize the investment that Massachusetts has made in offshore wind to yield tangible results in the form of real electrons,” said Senator Michael J. Rodrigues (D-Westport), Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. “Vineyard Wind’s clean and affordably priced electricity will benefit my constituents on the Southcoast, and all residents of the Commonwealth for years to come.”
“Today marks a historic moment for Massachusetts, and indeed the nation,” said State Senator Julian Cyr (D-Truro). “Vineyard Wind is now delivering clean energy to the grid produced right off our shores! This milestone is a testament to the achievements we can reach through collaboration, persistence, and a dedication to a green future. Cape Codders and Islanders are proud to pave the way for continued advancement of a clean energy future in Massachusetts powered by offshore wind, one that’s critical to saving our planet and coastal communities.”
“This represents a historic milestone and celebrates an important step for the first commercial-scale offshore wind farm in the United States,” said State Representative Jeffrey N. Roy (D-Franklin), House Chair of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy. “And it all started with the foresight of now-Speaker Mariano and the House to see the incredible potential of the offshore wind industry to combat climate change, drive economic growth, and generate clean, affordable energy. I applaud the Vineyard Wind project and the Commonwealth’s many partners in industry and labor who have worked tirelessly to transform this vision into reality.”
“New Bedford has invested a great deal of its time, energy, and manpower into supporting the successful launch of the offshore wind industry in Massachusetts,” said State Representative Tony Cabral (D-New Bedford). “As a community that understands the power of the ocean better than most, with this first transmission of power from the Vineyard Wind I project, that commitment and long-term vision has been realized. We are, once again, “the city that lights the world” and look forward to more turbines coming on-line as this collaboration between public and private partners energizes the next chapter in New Bedford’s maritime development.”
“This is a wonderful story, however it is truly just the beginning of a tremendous story to come,” said Representative Christopher Markey (D-Dartmouth). “There are too many people to thank, but Vineyard Wind’s trust in Massachusetts should be acknowledged and appreciated. Congratulations to Vineyard Wind’s determination and success.”
“We’re thrilled that the first power from the Vineyard Wind Project has made its way to the Massachusetts grid,” said Representative Christopher Hendricks (D-New Bedford). “This is a monumental victory for climate mitigation; not just in New Bedford and Massachusetts, but the country too. As Vineyard Wind 1 turbines continue to come online, we will remain committed to working with the Healey-Driscoll administration and our partners at the federal level to deliver more green energy solutions.”
“This is a pivotal moment in our fight against climate change,” said State Representative Dylan Fernandes (D-Falmouth). “As clean, renewable wind power flows to Massachusetts homes for the first time, we are making tangible progress toward our climate goals while also putting hundreds of local community members to work.”
“Cape Cod is extremely vulnerable to climate change and sea level rise, and therefore it is fitting that our region will lead the nation in the development of offshore wind to green our electric grid,” said State Representative Sarah K. Peake (D-Provincetown). “The Vineyard Wind 1 project will provide affordable, renewable electricity that can power Massachusetts for years to come. A win for the climate and ratepayers.”
From the outset of this project, Vineyard Wind recognized the importance of building and supporting a workforce of local, highly skilled, and diverse tradespeople. The valuable collaboration with union leadership on this project is a prime example of how this new industry can be a responsive member of the communities it serves, ensuring accessible and family-sustaining careers.
Vineyard Wind began offshore construction in late 2022, achieved steel-in-the-water in June, and completed the nation’s first offshore substation in July. Construction flows through the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal. In July 2021, Vineyard Wind signed the first Project Labor Agreement for an offshore wind project in the United States, which outlined the creation of 500 union jobs though the project. On December 14, 2023, project shareholders announced that Vineyard Wind 1 has delivered nearly double of its commitment through the PLA by creating 937 union jobs through two years of construction.
An 806-megawatt project located 15 miles off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard, Vineyard Wind will generate electricity for more than 400,000 homes and businesses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, create 3,600 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) job years, save customers $1.4 billion over the first 20 years of operation, and is expected to reduce carbon emissions by more than 1.6 million metric tons per year, the equivalent of taking 325,000 cars off the road annually.
Source: Company Press Release