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12/15/2023

Avangrid, Vineyard Offshore, Nearly Double Union Hiring Target For Vineyard Wind 1

Avangrid, Vineyard Offshore, Nearly Double Union Hiring Target For Vineyard Wind 1

Developers Have Hired 937 Union Members to Date, With More Jobs Coming in 2024

BOSTON, MA – Avangrid, Inc. (NYSE: AGR), a leading sustainable energy company and member of the Iberdrola Group, and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), a global leader in green energy investment and in offshore wind development through its affiliate Vineyard Offshore, today submitted the second annual report to the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) entitled, “Vineyard Wind 1 Impact on Jobs and Economic Output.” The report finds that the Vineyard Wind 1 Project, a joint venture between Avangrid and CIP, has already created 937 union jobs through two years of construction, delivering nearly double of their commitment to create 500 union jobs as outlined in the project’s Project Labor Agreement (PLA). 

"When we say climate change is our greatest threat and greatest opportunity — this is what we mean,” said Governor Maura Healey. “Vineyard Wind nearly doubled its commitment in job creation. Massachusetts labor unions continue to lead the way in innovative job training programs and forging important partnerships with emerging industries. This is exactly the kind of economic development we are looking to foster."

“By the time we complete construction on Vineyard Wind 1, Avangrid will have delivered more than 1,000 union jobs and enough clean power for 400,000 homes and businesses in Massachusetts,” said Avangrid CEO Pedro Azagra. “The report we filed today reflects the enormous potential of offshore wind, and we’re proud of the bonds we’ve built with the unions and skilled labor in Massachusetts. Together, we’re showing the world that a clean energy future means good jobs for workers and economic opportunity for historic port communities like New Bedford.” 

“When we signed the PLA in July of 2021, we made a commitment to bring the trades and local communities into this project, so they could get a foothold in a new industry,” said Klaus S. Møeller, CEO of the Vineyard Wind Project and Senior Vice President for Vineyard Offshore.  “I’m proud to say that we not only met that threshold, we’re set to more than double it by the end of construction.  It’s long been our goal for this first project to show the promise of this industry, promises that we are turning into reality day-by-day.” 

Supportive government actions, such as federal tax credits for renewable energy projects, have been instrumental for Vineyard Wind 1, which is on track to be the first large-scale offshore wind project in the U.S. In October 2023, Avangrid and CIP signed the largest single asset tax equity financing package, the first such deal for a U.S. offshore wind project.  

Compiled by UMass Dartmouth and Springline Research Group, the analysis utilizes job and expenditure data collected from 2017 through September 2023 to measure Vineyard Wind’s progress, particularly in terms of the extent to which the reported results align with the job and economic output estimates conducted by UMass Dartmouth’s Public Policy Center in 2017 (PPC17).  

The report also finds that 71.5% of union workers on the project are residents of Southeastern Massachusetts. To date, the project has created 1,989 jobs overall, and delivered $590 million in total economic output to the Massachusetts economy (including direct, indirect, and induced effects).  
In May 2023, the project received the first shipment of project components at the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal, and began turbine installation in September 2023. Currently, the project has installed five turbines, and is on track to deliver the first power from a large-scale offshore wind project in the United States by the end of the year.

During Year 2 of construction, the report finds a total headcount of 890 individual union workers on the project, in addition to 197 that worked on the project in Year 1. 

In July 2021, the project signed the first PLA for an offshore wind project in the United States. which outlined the creation of 500 union jobs though the project, and set goals for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Despite operating in a tight labor market, where the state and nation are at or near record lows in unemployment, the report finds that 19.6% of the union workforce on the project are Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC). The PLA set a goal of 20% union workers meeting BIPOC criteria. 

“We are incredibly proud of the nearly 1,000 union workers who played a pivotal role in the construction of Vineyard Wind,” said David Araujo, President of the Southeastern Massachusetts Building Trades Council.  “Their dedication to high-quality work, safety, and innovation not only advances clean energy in Massachusetts but also significantly shapes the country's offshore wind industry. Vineyard Wind has been a trustworthy partner from the beginning, and we look forward to continued collaboration that will bring good-paying, family-sustaining jobs and lasting opportunities to our workforce.”

“Massachusetts is once again demonstrating its clean energy leadership with the nearly 1,000 union jobs created by the historic Vineyard Wind 1 project,” said Senator Ed Markey. “Not only are these good-paying jobs, but nearly 9 in 10 union workers are residents of Southeast Massachusetts and almost 20 percent are workers of color. It is clear that these winds of change will deliver clean power to communities and opportunities for workers across the Commonwealth.”

"We have committed significant federal resources toward ensuring our local workers are trained to meet the challenges and opportunities of the offshore wind industry, and today's news clearly demonstrates that those investments are paying dividends in the community," said Congressman Bill Keating. "I commend Avangrid and CIP, the unions, and their members who have reached this goal together, and I look forward to continued progress toward the goals laid out in the Project Labor Agreement.”

“The House’s ongoing effort to establish Massachusetts as a national hub for the offshore wind industry has always been just as focused on creating jobs and boosting economic growth as it is about meeting our emissions reduction targets. This announcement today from Avangrid is encouraging, and is the latest example of why it’s critical that Massachusetts continues to embrace the growth of the offshore wind industry,” said House Speaker Ronald J. Mariano. “I want to thank the folks at Avangrid and Vineyard Offshore for their commitment to creating jobs here in the Commonwealth, as well as my colleagues in the House and our partners in state government who have helped to make announcements like this one possible.”

"Union workers are powering the clean energy transition,” said Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Rebecca Tepper. “Massachusetts owes a debt of gratitude to this new clean energy workforce that is going to deliver clean, affordable energy to our homes and businesses. Offshore wind is driving emissions reductions for Massachusetts and the entire country and creating good-paying, family-sustaining jobs in the process."

“Nearly 1000 green union jobs and production of clean energy is the exact reason the House, under the leadership of Speaker Mariano, embarked on its mission to ensure that offshore wind got its jumpstart here in Massachusetts,” said State Representative Jeffrey N. Roy (D-Franklin), House Chair of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy. “Those were no easy battles, but the promise of jobs and clean energy have come to fruition. We look forward to building on that success and continuing to make Massachusetts the capitol of offshore wind in the nation.”

“Vineyard Wind is bringing more than just sustainable energy to our shores, but also an exciting expansion of union jobs in Southeastern Massachusetts,” said State Senator Julian Cyr. “I am encouraged to see the project exceed its goal to deliver 500 union jobs with 937 union jobs and counting already created! This success will help revitalize the Commonwealth’s coastal economy and further propel Massachusetts as a leader in offshore wind energy.”  

“I have said before that offshore wind represents a unique, generational opportunity for New Bedford – but only if local workers were involved from the beginning,” said State Representative Antonio Cabral. “I am pleased that the jobs and economic impact report released today for the Vineyard Wind I project shows that the state’s commitment to including organized labor directly in the development of this new industry is paying off for us: nearly 1000 union jobs created so far and over 70% of those workers are from the SouthCoast.  We need to maintain this momentum.”

“I am grateful that Vineyard Wind delivered on its commitment to creating high quality union jobs in Massachusetts,” said Representative Christopher Markey. “Anyone that goes to the New Bedford waterfront can witness firsthand the positive impact of their efforts. I look forward to the continued success of Vineyard Wind, our hard-working union employees, and the Commonwealth’s commitment to renewable energy.”

“I am pleased that Vineyard Wind has exceeded the initial expectations regarding the amount of union jobs needed for this project,” said State Representative Christopher Hendricks. “I’m excited to continue working with Vineyard Wind, the state delegation, and other community partners to ensure that this trend only accelerates as to derive the most economic benefit directly for the people of New Bedford.”

“These 937 newly-created union jobs show that clean energy isn’t just a climate win — it’s a win for workers across Southeastern Massachusetts,” said State Representative Dylan Fernandes. “Our Commonwealth is at the forefront of a clean energy revolution that will create thousands of local, year-round jobs and chart the path toward a livable planet for future generations.”

"The Department of Energy Resources is glad to see such a robust filing on the job creation from Vineyard Wind,” said DOER Commissioner Elizabeth Mahony. “We will continue to prioritize equitable economic development in our coastal communities so local residents and governments can receive the benefits of this new industry. Future projects will build upon of the progress of this partnership between labor and Vineyard Wind."

“We commend Avangrid and CIP for their increased ambition on job creation for the Vineyard Wind I project,” said Elizabeth Turnbull Henry, President of the Environmental League of Massachusetts. “The results from the Vineyard jobs and economic output report demonstrate the value that offshore wind can deliver to Massachusetts and the region by building economic opportunities, creating benefits for workers and communities, and adopting fair project labor and community benefits agreements. We must continue to ensure that state procurements create high-quality jobs through union neutrality and preferences for projects that include local, regional, and domestic content guidelines, where feasible.”

“This underscores two incredibly important points about where we're headed with clean energy,” said Joe Curtatone, President of the Northeast Clean Energy Council. “First, labor is an essential partner in delivering these projects. We're talking about a new industrial revolution. We have to build a whole new energy system, and Vineyard Wind has shown that organized labor is ready to do that work. They can deliver the workers who can deliver the projects. Second, we're also building a diverse climate economy. For this energy transition to impact the whole of our society, it needs to involve the whole of our society. Vineyard Wind really has laid out an example for how we all can play a role in building a sustainable world.”

“In addition to being a significant source of local and regional job creation, the Vineyard Wind 1 project has generated substantial economic opportunities for Massachusetts-based businesses”, said Michael Goodman, Professor of Public Policy at UMass Dartmouth and co-author of the report.  “To date, Vineyard Wind’s contractors have spent tens of millions on firms based in Southeastern Massachusetts, and even more in Massachusetts as a whole during the Construction phase.” 

The report was submitted to DOER in accordance with an agreement that was signed between the agency and Vineyard Wind after the project was selected by the state in its first offshore wind procurement in 2017. 

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. 

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.

About Avangrid

About Avangrid: Avangrid, Inc. (NYSE: AGR) aspires to be the leading sustainable energy company in the United States. Headquartered in Orange, CT with approximately $44 billion in assets and operations in 24 U.S. states, Avangrid has two primary lines of business: networks and renewables. Through its networks business, Avangrid owns and operates eight electric and natural gas utilities, serving more than 3.3 million customers in New York and New England. Through its renewables business, Avangrid owns and operates a portfolio of renewable energy generation facilities across the United States. Avangrid employs approximately 8,000 people and has been recognized by JUST Capital in 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024 as one of the JUST 100 companies – a ranking of America’s best corporate citizens. In 2024, Avangrid ranked first among utilities and 12 overall. The company supports the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals and was named among the World’s Most Ethical Companies in 2024 for the sixth consecutive year by the Ethisphere Institute. Avangrid is a member of the group of companies controlled by Iberdrola, S.A. For more information, visit www.avangrid.com.

 

About Iberdrola: Iberdrola is one of the world's biggest energy companies and a leader in renewables, spearheading the energy transition to a low carbon economy. The group supplies energy to almost 100 million people in dozens of countries. With a focus on renewable energy, smart networks and smart solutions for customers, Iberdrola’s main markets include Europe (Spain, the United Kingdom, Portugal, France, Germany, Italy and Greece), the United States, Brazil, Mexico and Australia. The company is also present in growth markets such as Japan, Taiwan, Ireland, Sweden and Poland, among others.

With a workforce of nearly 40,000 and assets in excess of €141.7 billion, across the world, Iberdrola helps to support 400,000 jobs across its supply chain, with annual procurement of €12.2 billion. A benchmark in the fight against climate change, Iberdrola has invested more than €130 billion over the past two decades to help build a sustainable energy model, based on sound environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles.

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