Offshore Wind

AVANGRID Will Operate, Manage Major U.S. Offshore Wind Project

AVANGRID announced it has finalized a deal to operate and manage the Vineyard Wind 1 offshore wind project, an 800-MW installation being built off the coast of Massachusetts.

Vineyard Wind 1 is owned in a joint venture between AVANGRID, part of the Iberdrola Group, and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners. Construction of what would be the first U.S. commercial-scale offshore wind project is expected to be completed next year, with the installation entering commercial operation in 2024.

AVANGRID on Aug. 3 said it will be responsible for operations and management services of the project after construction is complete and Vineyard Wind 1 enters service. The project was approved by U.S. government officials in May 2021. The $2.3 billion installation achieved financial close in September of last year,

“AVANGRID is proud to pioneer the offshore wind industry in the United States, and by leveraging the global experience of the Iberdrola Group and a skilled and talented local workforce, we are well positioned to maximize the operation and performance of the historic, nation-leading Vineyard Wind 1 project,” said Pedro Azagra, CEO of AVANGRID. “Offshore wind represents a tremendous opportunity to advance the United States’ ambitious climate goals, and the completion and successful operation of Vineyard Wind 1 will lay the groundwork for the continued growth of the industry in the decades to come, including AVANGRID’s robust 4.9-gigawatt project pipeline.”

Officials on Wednesday said AVANGRID will supervise turbine, cable, and substation maintenance, and also the coordination of contractors. The company will provide control center services, along with trading, and management of assets. AVANGRID said it will hire about “20 technically qualified employees, including key roles that will receive intensive training overseas through Iberdrola’s operational offshore wind farms in the United Kingdom and Europe, helping to prepare them to knowledgeably operate the groundbreaking U.S. facility.”

AVANGRID’s on Wednesday said the company has an ownership stake in an offshore wind pipeline of nearly 5 GW of power generation along the U.S. East Coast. The company, in addition to its 50% stake in Vineyard Wind 1, fully owns the 1,200-MW Commonwealth Wind project sited off Massachusetts, along with the 804-MW Park City Wind off Connecticut, and the 2,500-MW Kitty Hawk Wind off North Carolina.

Iberdrola officials said the group has a global renewable energy pipeline totaling 90 GW of generation capacity. The company in the past year has made investments in several countries, including Australia, Ireland, Japan, Poland, and Sweden, and today has a portfolio of 31.7 GW of offshore wind capacity worldwide.

The U.S. Dept. of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management completed its environmental review of Vineyard Wind 1 in early 2021. The project was briefly put on hold in late 2020 after an announcement that the installation was changing the model of wind turbine that would be used. Officials overseeing the project in October 2020 announced they had a transmission agreement with grid operator ISO-NE.

Darrell Proctor is a senior associate editor for POWER (@POWERmagazine).

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