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    Parent company of Vineyard Wind partner takes charge of operations


    August 7, 2022 - Kathryn Gallerani

     

      NEW BEDFORD — The parent company of Vineyard Wind partner Avangrid Renewables will assume responsibility as operations and management services provider for its first commercial-scale offshore wind project in the United States.

      Vineyard Wind is a joint venture between Avangrid Renewables, a subsidiary of Avangrid, Inc., and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners. Avangrid is part of the Iberdrola Group.

      "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," Pedro Azagra, CEO of Avangrid, said in a news release.

      "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."

      The 800-megawatt turbine is on schedule to be the first commercial-scale offshore wind project in the United States. It is expected to generate clean, renewable, affordable energy for more than 400,000 homes and businesses in Massachusetts, reducing carbon emissions by over 1.6 million tons per year.

      It's expected to create 3,600 full-time equivalent jobs and saving ratepayers $1.4 billion over the life of the project.

      The offshore wind developer's first of two Vineyard Wind turbines is scheduled to begin delivering clean energy to Massachusetts in 2023 and achieve commercial operations in 2024.

      The agreements include the operations and maintenance service agreement and asset management agreement, which designate AVANGRID as the party responsible for overseeing the operation and management of the facility once construction is complete and commercial operations begin.

      Through these agreements, Avangrid will provide services to the Vineyard Wind project and be the lead for the operations management of the wind farm, including the supervision of critical tasks such as turbine, cable and substation maintenance, coordination of contractors, 24/7 control center services, trading, and assets management.

      Avangrid will hire approximately 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.

      In January 2022, Avangrid announced the completion of the restructuring of its existing Vineyard Wind joint venture to become the largest offshore wind supplier in New England. In total, Avangrid has a projected offshore wind pipeline of 5 gigawatts on the East Coast of the United States – enough to power more than two million households.

      In addition to its 50 percent stake in the first-in-the-nation Vineyard Wind 1 project (800 megawatts total), Avangrid owns 100 percent of Commonwealth Wind (1,200 megawatts to Massachusetts), Park City Wind (804 megawatts to Connecticut) and Kitty Hawk Wind (2,500 megawatts off the coast of North Carolina.

      Within Iberdrola's global renewables pipeline, totaling 90 gigawatts, offshore wind has become one of the group's central growth opportunities. Over the last year, Iberdrola has invested in new growth platforms in other countries such as Poland, Sweden, Ireland, Japan, and Australia, which has increased the size of the group's global offshore wind portfolio to 31.7 gigawatts.

      Standard-Times staff writer Kathryn Gallerani can be reached at kgallerani@wickedlocal.com. Follow her on Twitter: @kgallreporter.

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