Vineyard Wind aims at 2019 construction start for Massachusetts project

Offshore wind farm. Photo by: Iberdrola (

December 21 (Renewables Now) - Vineyard Wind announced Wednesday that it has submitted a proposal to construct a large wind farm off the coast of Massachusetts and is following an accelerated timeline envisaging the start of site construction in 2019.

The developer has recently filed applications with the US Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, and the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities’ Energy Facilities Siting Board to build an 800-MW offshore wind park about 15 miles (24 km) south of Martha’s Vineyard. It says it has been the first of several competing projects to do so.

Vineyard Wind has now also submitted proposals for projects of 400 MW and of 800 MW in the state’s 83C solicitation process in order to increase the likelihood of success, Erich Stephens, chief development officer of Vineyard Wind, told The Martha’s Vineyard Times in an interview.

The company is a 50/50 partnership between Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) and Avangrid Renewables LLC, a wholly-owned unit of Avangrid Inc (NYSE:AGR), which in turn is majority owned by Spanish utility Iberdrola (BME:IBE).

In late June, the Massachusetts utilities issued their request for proposals (RfP) to sign long term-contracts for 400 MW and potentially up to 800 MW of offshore wind generation. The winners will be announced by April 23, 2018. The state requires that the electric distribution companies procure 1.6 GW of offshore wind capacity by June 30, 2027.

Two other proposals have also been submitted in the solicitation. Deepwater Wind proposed an offshore wind project of up to 400 MW and also filed for a smaller 200-MW conforming project. The idea there is to link the offshore wind farm to the 1,168-MW Northfield Mountain pumped-storage hydropower facility owned by FirstLight Power Resources.

At the same time, Ørsted A/S (CPH:ORSTED) and Eversource Energy (NYSE:ES) submitted a proposal for a huge wind farm plus 55 MW of battery storage.

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