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04/02/2024

Avangrid Receives Federal Record of Decision for New England Wind

Avangrid Receives Federal Record of Decision for New England Wind

Completion of federal review represents critical step in permitting for lease area with potential to provide approximately 2 Gigawatts of clean, reliable power to the region

Boston, MA – Avangrid, Inc. (NYSE: AGR), a leading sustainable energy company and member of the Iberdrola Group, today announced that it has received the federal Record of Decision (ROD) from the Department of the Interior for New England Wind. The ROD represents a significant permitting milestone that brings the lease area closer to full federal approval for construction, with the Construction and Operations Plan (COP) Approval anticipated for July 2024. Issuance of the ROD by the Department of the Interior comes after years of robust stakeholder engagement with Tribal Nations, members of local residential and fishing communities, and other ocean users. New England Wind, consisting of the New England Wind 1 and New England Wind 2 projects, has the potential to create thousands of jobs and provide enough clean, reliable energy to power nearly 1 million homes and businesses in the region. As the leading offshore wind developer in the United States, Avangrid is spearheading the development of the first-in-the-nation Vineyard Wind 1 project, currently under construction and delivering clean, reliable power to 30,000 homes and businesses in Massachusetts.

“The Record of Decision issued by the Biden Administration today represents a historic step toward the future of offshore wind in the United States,” said Avangrid CEO Pedro Azagra. “The Biden Administration, Secretary Haaland, and BOEM all deserve immense credit for their thorough and rigorous review of New England Wind, as well as their decisive action to move the nation’s clean energy and climate goals forward. With this federal approval, New England Wind stands apart as the most advanced and shovel-ready offshore wind opportunity in the Northeast region. We are grateful to our many supporters and stakeholders that participated in the federal permitting process, and look forward to continued engagement as we work to bring thousands of well-paying jobs and clean, reliable power to New England.” 

“The Biden-Harris administration has built an offshore wind industry from the ground up after years of delay from the previous administration. Today, we celebrate the incredible progress being made toward achieving our goal of 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy capacity by 2030," said Secretary Deb Haaland. “The New England Wind project will help lower consumer costs, combat climate change, create jobs to support families, and ensure economic opportunities are accessible to all communities.” 
 
"With the approval of the New England Wind project, we have now approved more than 10 gigawatts of offshore wind projects in under three years," said Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Director Elizabeth Klein. "BOEM is proud of our open communication and frequent collaboration with federal partners, Tribal Nations, states, industry and ocean users to shape project reviews and avoid or minimize conflict with existing users and marine life.”
On March 27, 2024, Avangrid submitted multiple proposals for the New England Wind projects to the Massachusetts-Rhode Island-Connecticut Multi-State Procurement for Offshore Wind. The states are anticipated to announce selected projects from the competitive procurement in August 2024. 

The ROD comes after years of analysis of potential environmental impacts of Avangrid’s construction, operation, and conceptual decommissioning plans by BOEM. Stakeholder engagement for this critical environmental review included three virtual public meetings hosted by BOEM to solicit additional feedback on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) published in late December 2023 and consideration of over 750 comments received from the public. BOEM responded to all comments received in the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), recently published on February 26, 2024. The DEIS, FEIS, and ROD are available on BOEM’s website.

New England Wind 1 is an exceptionally advanced and shovel-ready project in federal lease area OCS-A 0534, roughly 30 miles south of Barnstable, Massachusetts and making landfall under the Craigville Beach parking lot. The project will border Vineyard Wind 1 to the south.

New England Wind 1 offers extraordinary certainty and viability. The ROD builds on the project’s complete state, regional, and local permitting, a signed host community agreement with the Town of Barnstable, and a Project Labor Agreement with the Massachusetts Building Trades. If selected in the current competitive procurement, the project can begin construction as soon as next year and achieve commercial operations before the end of the decade, helping achieve ambitious 2030 state climate targets set by the New England states. 

“As we confront the climate crisis, the need for clean energy has never been more urgent. Avangrid’s success moving the New England Wind lease forward brings offshore wind projects one step closer toward development and becoming a reality for New England residents,” said U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut). “New England Wind will not only help meet clean energy goals by reducing emissions and powering over 1 million homes and businesses with clean power, but will also support good paying union jobs.”

“Today’s decision marks another milestone in the advancement of offshore wind in the United States,” said Congressman Bill Keating (D-Massachusetts). “Once fully developed, New England Wind will power 1 million homes in the region while simultaneously cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 4 million tons annually. I have long believed that offshore wind will play a critical role in powering a greener and more climate friendly future for our region and the entire country.  Today, we see that vision coming closer to fruition.”

“Today’s announcement means we are one step closer to making New England Wind a reality – and reaping all the benefits it will bring to our state and the region – clean energy for homes and businesses, hundreds of good-paying union jobs, and a reduction in carbon emissions that will be critical to meeting our climate change goals,” said Congresswoman Rosa L. DeLauro (D-Connecticut). “Projects like this are why I was proud to support both the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act – both of which are making key investments to lower energy costs for consumers and families and support our transition to offshore wind and other forms of renewable energy.”

“After overcoming some challenging headwinds, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s Record of Decision for Avangrid’s New England Wind is a major step in the right direction for the region,” said Congressman Jim Himes (D-Connecticut). “Not only will this offshore wind initiative provide a robust source of clean power to nearly one million homes and businesses across the northeast, but it will also create high quality, good-paying jobs to help drive our economy forward while mitigating our carbon footprint. I am eager to see it receive full federal approval in the months to come.”

"I commend Avangrid for achieving this significant milestone with the issuance of the Record of Decision (ROD) for New England Wind. This represents a crucial step forward in the federal permitting process, bringing us closer to realizing the immense potential of offshore wind energy in our region,” said Joe Curtatone, President, Northeast Clean Energy Council (NECEC). “With the capacity to provide approximately 2 Gigawatts of clean, reliable power to nearly 1 million homes and businesses, this project underscores the vital role that renewable energy plays in addressing climate change and advancing our transition to a sustainable future. We look forward to seeing the continued progress and positive impact of the New England Wind project as it moves towards full federal approval and eventual construction." 

“We applaud the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management for issuing the Record of Decision for New England Wind. This momentous decision underscores the critical importance of standing up the U.S. offshore wind industry efficiently and responsibly, recognizing the balance between environmental protection and our urgent need for sustainable energy,” said Kelt Wilska, Offshore Wind Director, Environmental League of Massachusetts, and New England for Offshore Wind Regional Lead. “The projects comprising New England Wind can help New England continue building a thriving offshore wind sector that fosters a diverse local and regional supply chain with union jobs that provide stability, security, and a pathway to prosperity for working families.”

“Approving the New England Wind project is a big step toward reducing the region’s reliance on fossil fuels and building a green, just economy," said Sierra Club Massachusetts Director Vick Mohanka. “Responsible offshore wind development requires carefully evaluating and mitigating potentially adverse impacts. We look forward to seeing the New England Wind project continue to protect critical interests and deliver benefits to host communities, tribes, workers, consumers, and the environment."

“We applaud the Biden-Harris administration and BOEM for their review of Avangrid’s New England Wind project and issuance of their Record of Decision today,” said Dorothy Savarese, Board Chair, Cape Cod Climate Change Collaborative. “It is now well documented that Cape Cod and its adjacent ocean waters are among the very fastest warming locations in the world, adding further urgency for Cape Cod’s transition to a sustainable energy future which, in turn, depends on having access to ample supplies of renewable energy. Offshore wind is an absolutely essential component of that vision.” 

“We applaud BOEM and the Biden-Harris administration for issuing the Record of Decision (ROD) for Avangrid’s New England Wind projects (formerly known as Park City Wind and Commonwealth Wind), and further scheduling the project’s COP approval later this summer,” said Faith Communities Environmental Network of Cape Cod (FCEN), Barnstable Representative of FCEN, Rev. Russ Norris, and FCEN co-chairs, Susan Starkey and Rev. Brian McGurk. “The climate emergency is an existential threat globally, and we face the moral imperative to reduce carbon emissions while protecting the community of life, human and more-than-human. FCEN supports responsibly developed offshore wind projects such as this one.” 

"We are excited to witness significant progress in our pursuit of clean energy deployment. To achieve our decarbonization goals, swift action is required. The ROD marks an important step towards deployment of clean, renewable wind energy in New England,” said Mike Urgo, President, Connecticut League of Conservation Voters. “We are encouraged by this decision and the collaborative, inclusive process that led to it. We eagerly anticipate the day when wind energy powers homes and enhances air quality for millions of people throughout New England."

“Offshore wind will be one of the biggest factors in whether we succeed or fail in reaching critical, life-sustaining goals associated with addressing climate change.  BOEM’s Record of Decision for Avangrid’s New England Wind lease area represents a key and substantial step in the direction of moving forward on offshore wind.  We at the Connecticut Chapter of The Nature Conservancy believe we must move at pace and scale on wind and this decision helps us do just that,” said Nathan Frohling, Director of External Affairs for The Nature Conservancy in CT.

New England Wind 1 also offers transformational economic opportunities for the region, including catalyzing a new staging and assembly port in Salem; bringing an offshore wind davit crane manufacturer to New Bedford, Massachusetts; locating Operations and Maintenance facilities in Bridgeport, Connecticut and New Bedford; and delivering an offshore wind training hub with Survival Systems USA at the Port of Davisville in North Kingstown, Rhode Island. 

The New England Wind lease area is projected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 4 million US tons, or the equivalent of taking approximately 700,000 cars off the road each year during the lifespan of the project. Combined, the projects will create up to 9,200 full-time equivalent jobs and bring $8 billion in direct investment to the region.

In February 2024, Avangrid announced that it has powered up the first five turbines for the nation-leading Vineyard Wind 1 project, delivering clean energy to 30,000 homes and businesses in Massachusetts. 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.

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 through 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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