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02/22/2024

Avangrid Powers Up Five Vineyard Wind 1 Turbines, Delivers Clean Energy to 30,000 Massachusetts Homes

Avangrid Powers Up Five Vineyard Wind 1 Turbines, Delivers Clean Energy to 30,000 Massachusetts Homes

A GE Haliade-X Turbine Stands in the Vineyard Wind 1 Project Area South of Martha’s Vineyard. Photo Credit: Worldview Films

Developers begin initial operations, providing 68 Megawatts to New England grid

To access b-roll footage, click here.

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 announced that the developers have powered up the first five GE Haliade-X turbines for the nation-leading Vineyard Wind 1 project, delivering clean energy to 30,000 homes and businesses in Massachusetts. Vineyard Wind 1, the first large-scale offshore wind project in the United States, is now providing approximately 68 Megawatts to the New England grid, delivering a steady stream of clean energy that will help the region meet winter electricity demand. The first large-scale offshore wind project in the United States, Vineyard Wind 1 will be the largest renewable energy facility in New England once fully operational, delivering 806 Megawatts – enough clean electricity to power 400,000 homes and businesses in the Commonwealth.

“This marks a turning point in the clean energy transition. After many decades of advocacy, research, policymaking, and finally construction, America’s offshore wind industry has gone from a dream to reality,” said Governor Maura Healey. “Across Massachusetts, in 30,000 homes and businesses, when you turn on the light, you will now be using clean, affordable energy. This will make the air we breathe safer and healthier, save customers money, and bring us one step closer to achieving net-zero emissions. I’m grateful to the Legislature for their leadership in developing our offshore wind industry, state and local officials for their efforts, and the union workers who built this industry from the ground up.” 

“Every milestone we achieve on Vineyard Wind 1 is special, but powering up these first turbines stands apart as an exceptional achievement for Avangrid, Massachusetts, and the nation,” said Avangrid CEO Pedro Azagra. “Each rotation of the blades, and every megawatt flowing to homes across Massachusetts, is a testament to the years of perseverance and partnership that have defined this trailblazing project. From the vision of our team, to the leadership of President Biden, Governor Healey, Speaker Mariano, and Senate President Spilka, to the talent and skill of the project’s local union workforce, the hard work of so many helped to finally bring offshore wind power to the United States. We should all take pride in writing this remarkable chapter of American clean energy history.”  

On Tuesday, January 2, 2024, Vineyard Wind delivered approximately five megawatts of power from one turbine to the grid. Following that critical milestone, the project has provided power from each of the first five turbines intermittently, as it ramped up to initial operations. Currently, the project has successfully installed nine turbines and is in the process of installing the 10th, with preparations underway to transport the 11th turbine to the offshore project site. Building on the 68 Megawatts currently in operation, additional power will be delivered to the grid sequentially, with each turbine starting production once it completes the commissioning process. 

The power from the project 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.

Offshore wind is a critical energy resource in the Northeast region, and is uniquely positioned to meet the New England region’s winter peak demand. In 2018, ISO New England released an assessment, which found that 800 Megawatts of offshore wind during a two-week cold snap would have saved ratepayers $40-45 million and avoided more than 108,000 metric tons of carbon emissions, equivalent to 5% of the region’s annual emissions. 

“The winds of change are blowing through Massachusetts, as Vineyard Wind now powers 30,000 homes in our state with clean, renewable energy,” said Senator Markey. “With billions of dollars being unlocked from the Inflation Reduction Act to drive our clean energy revolution forward, Vineyard Wind is only the beginning. I will continue to push for the creation of good-paying union jobs across the shores of Massachusetts and in communities throughout our nation through my Offshore Wind Jobs and Opportunity Act. I look forward to the completion of the project, which will deliver more than 800 megawatts of power, while also delivering for jobs and climate action in our communities.” 

“The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is leading the way on offshore wind thanks to the innovation of private sector partners like Avangrid, Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, and Vineyard Offshore coupled with the strong support of President Biden, Governor Healey, the entire Massachusetts Congressional Delegation, and our partners in the State Legislature, the City of New Bedford, and throughout the Cape and Martha’s Vineyard,” said Congressman Bill Keating. “Powering up the first five Vineyard Wind 1 turbines not only signifies a major milestone in the construction of the U.S.’s first large-scale offshore wind project, it also signifies progress towards a cleaner environment and heralds a boon for good, union jobs and economic growth throughout Southeastern Massachusetts which is something we should all be proud of.”

“Massachusetts makes history again with power flowing from Vineyard Wind,” said Lieutenant Governor Driscoll. “This is a victory for the many partnerships that got us to this moment – from the development of the historic New Bedford Port, to the groundbreaking Project Labor Agreement, to the vision of the Legislature and advocates. It takes the faith, vision, and hard work of a lot of people to make this moment possible.” 

“Today we take a momentous step towards a clean energy future powered by wind - and our Commonwealth’s leadership on finding creative solutions to the environmental crisis,” said State Senator Karen E. Spilka (Middlesex and Norfolk), Massachusetts Senate President. “Today, and for decades to come, our environment and our residents will reap the benefits of the hard work of advocates, designers, laborers and policymakers who have put this project on the path from conception to reality. I’m grateful to my colleagues in the legislature, the Healey-Driscoll Administration, and the leaders at Vineyard Wind for making this a priority, and I look forward to seeing more of Massachusetts become powered by the wind.”

“This milestone is the first of many on the path to transforming Massachusetts into a regional hub for offshore wind and is proof of the incredible potential that the Commonwealth has to lead the country, and the world, towards a clean energy future,” said State Representative Ronald Mariano (3rd Norfolk), Massachusetts Speaker of the House. “I want to thank the folks at Avangrid and CIP for their commitment to delivering clean energy to the people of Massachusetts, along with my colleagues in the House and our partners in state government who helped to turn this long-pursued vision into a reality.”

“Massachusetts has been at the forefront on offshore wind in the United States, and this is a historic milestone in our clean energy revolution,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Rebecca Tepper. “It’s not easy to stand up a new industry, but we will continue to forge ahead and keep growing the industry to lower energy costs for our families and businesses, create good-paying jobs, and build a cleaner, healthier, and more resilient Commonwealth.” 

“Developing new offshore wind is the backbone of Massachusetts’ clean energy policies and is paramount to achieving our clean energy transition and emissions reduction targets,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Elizabeth Mahony. “It’s gratifying to see the blades spinning on the Vineyard Wind project, and we look forward to advancing our current solicitation, which is critical to further economic development priorities for Massachusetts while securing clean, resilient energy for ratepayers.” 

“Congratulations to Vineyard Wind - It’s incredibly exciting to witness the tangible impact of our collective dedication to combating the climate crisis,” said Emily Reichert, CEO of MassCEC. “We’re thrilled to see this visionary concept come to life and contribute to the creation of a sustainable future for generations of Massachusetts citizens to come.” 

“It’s great news that the Vineyard Wind project has delivered full power to consumers across the region today,” said State Representative Jeffrey N. Roy (10th Norfolk), House Chair of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy. “This marks the beginning of a very exciting future for offshore wind generation here in Massachusetts and across the country. As a national leader in offshore wind and clean energy generation, Massachusetts has set the bar for what is possible in combating the negative effects of climate change. I commend the hard work and dedication of all involved to reach this historic moment.” 

"New Bedford has a long and proud history of being at the forefront of maritime progress,” said State Senator Mark C. Montigny (Second Bristol and Plymouth). “Whale oil from New Bedford once lit the world and with the delivery of power from the Vineyard Wind project, we've proven that this leadership will continue into the future. I'm proud to have had a role as an early leader in the legislative effort to expand wind energy and focus that effort with strength and opportunity in New Bedford.  It has been quite the sight, seeing this project come together, and the environmental and economic impact is something that will have an enormous positive impact on the region and state."

"New Bedford is a community that understands the power of the ocean better than most, and we have invested much of our time, energy, and resources on developing offshore wind in MA,” said State Representative Antonio Cabral (13th Bristol). “With the transmission of power from the Vineyard Wind I project, that commitment and long-term vision has been realized. We 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 and the Commonwealth's renewable energy future.”

“This marks a historic moment for Massachusetts, and indeed the nation,” said State Senator Julian Cyr (Cape and Islands). “Vineyard Wind is now delivering clean energy to the grid and our homes produced right off our shores! This milestone is a testament to the achievements we can reach through collaboration, persistence, and 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.”

“These five turbines now connected to our grid stand as a testament to our vision for a sustainable energy future,” said State Representative Dylan A. Fernandes (Barnstable, Dukes, and Nantucket). “Beyond supplying clean power to our communities, they also foster the creation of green jobs and drive the economic engine of our Commonwealth. I look forward to continued investment in the offshore wind industry and welcome the economic and environmental benefits it will bring for generations of Southeastern Massachusetts residents.”

“Vineyard Wind coming online is a significant milestone for the Massachusetts offshore wind industry,” said State Representative Patricia Haddad (5th Bristol). “I’m proud of the Legislature’s leadership in fostering this groundbreaking industry and even prouder to see the jobs and prosperity it has brought to the South Coast region. From the South Coast to the global stage, offshore wind is the future.”

“The success of the first 5 turbines is a major milestone in a project that will redefine the Commonwealth’s environmental and economic outlook for generations to come,” said State Representative Chris Markey (9th Bristol).” The introduction of offshore wind signifies our commitment to creating an environmentally sustainable future for our children while we enjoy an infusion of economic activity that has already made a significant impact on New Bedford Harbor and the surrounding communities.” 

“Vineyard Wind’s latest milestone is further evidence that offshore wind has established itself in the U.S.,” said New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell. “With the benefit of a robust partnership with the Healey-Driscoll Administration, New Bedford is leading the way.”

“The Massachusetts AFL-CIO is proud to represent the workers who are bringing this important project to life, as well as thousands of workers who are experts on the energy needed to light, heat, and cool our homes, schools, and hospitals,” said Chrissy Lynch – President, Massachusetts AFL-CIO. “The Labor Movement is already on the forefront of the most cutting-edge energy work, and we are ready to take on more.”

"The Vineyard Wind 1 project marks a monumental milestone in our nation's journey towards sustainable energy,” said Joe Curtatone – President, Northeast Clean Energy Council. “With its 806-megawatt capacity, Vineyard Wind will energize over 400,000 homes and businesses and invigorate our economy, creating thousands of jobs in the climate economy and saving customers billions in energy costs. Moreover, its substantial carbon emissions reduction will leave a lasting legacy of environmental stewardship and the transformative potential of clean energy, driving us towards a brighter, greener future for generations to come."

“Cape Cod sticks out perilously into rapidly rising seas,” said Andrew Gottlieb – Executive Director, Association to Preserve Cape Cod. “The commencement of power generation from Vineyard Wind is an important milestone in adding clean energy to the power grid. While much remains to be done to complete the transition to an energy system that is climate-friendly, Vineyard Wind will always stand out as a critical demonstration that industrial-scale clean energy generation can be accomplished. We need to build on this momentum to go even farther to fully build out a clean energy power system." 

“Offshore wind holds enormous potential to transition the Commonwealth to a safer, cleaner energy supply and today marks a welcome step towards harnessing that potential,” said Amber Hewett – Senior Director of Offshore Wind Energy, National Wildlife Federation. “We are thrilled to see a project at the scale of Vineyard Wind move forward, well on its way to powering hundreds of thousands of homes, helping Massachusetts transition away from fossil fuels, and adhering to stringent wildlife-protection measures every step of the way.”

“This is an exciting and momentous step forward,” said Dorothy Savarese – Board President, of Cape Cod Climate Change Collaborative. “As Cape Cod is extremely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, we are thrilled to see the first clean power from the Vineyard Wind Project flow to the electric grid. This project will help reduce fossil fuel emissions and help enhance the resilience of our power supply." 

"Vineyard Wind's historic milestone today proves that responsibly and equitably developed offshore wind can strengthen our economy, protect ratepayers, improve public health, and create family-sustaining union jobs and equitable access to economic opportunities,” said Kelt Wilska – Offshore Wind Director, Environmental League of Massachusetts & Regional Lead, New England for Offshore Wind. “Here's to more turbines, more clean electricity, and more Project Labor Agreements."

“Vineyard Wind sending clean power to our grid represents a welcome and critical milestone in our transition to clean energy that is essential for protecting people, birds, and other wildlife from the worst impacts of a fast-changing climate,” said Michelle Manion – Vice President of Policy and Advocacy, Mass Audubon. “Mass Audubon applauds the Commonwealth’s continued leadership on ramping up responsible offshore wind as well as the Healey-Driscoll Administration’s strong commitment to delivering on the Next-Generation Climate Roadmap.”

“From the moment the Project Labor Agreement between the Southeastern Massachusetts Building Trades Unions and Vineyard Wind was executed, Vineyard Wind has supported South Coast and New Bedford residents in obtaining pre-apprenticeship training to prepare them to be the strongest candidates for bona fide, full-time building trades apprenticeships and a path to careers in the wind industry,” said Yvonne Tobey – Building Pathways South. “Partnering with Building Pathways South, Vineyard Wind, through its financial support, has provided much-needed supportive services for residents who are seeking family-sustaining wages and pursuing, not just jobs, but careers. Building Pathways South is grateful for the opportunities Vineyard Wind is bringing to community residents.”

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. In December 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.
 

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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