Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and Avangrid, Inc. today announced that power from the Vineyard Wind project was delivered to the New England grid for the first time. As part of the initial commissioning process, at 11:52 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2024, one turbine delivered approximately five megawatts of power, with additional testing expected to happen both on and offshore in the coming weeks. The project expects to have five turbines operating at full capacity early in 2024.
“2023 was a historic year defined by steel in the water and people at work. Today, we begin a new chapter and welcome 2024 by delivering the first clean offshore wind power to the grid in Massachusetts,” said Avangrid CEO Pedro Azagra. “We’ve arrived at a watershed moment for climate action in the U.S., and a dawn for the American offshore wind industry. As we build on this tremendous progress and work to deliver the full capacity of this historic project, we continue to stand proudly with all the partners that made this achievement possible, including the Biden Administration and the Healey-Driscoll Administration.”
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 generating 806 MW, enough to power more than 400,000 homes and businesses in Massachusetts.
Vineyard Wind 1 is jointly owned by CIP through its flagship fund, CI II and III and Avangrid. The project is being developed and constructed by Avangrid and Vineyard Offshore, CIP’s affiliated development company working on U.S. offshore projects. In August 2022, Avangrid signed an agreement to assume responsibility as the operations and maintenance services provider for Vineyard Wind 1 once the project achieves commercial operations.
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 through the project. On December 14, 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-MW 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.