Avangrid Renewables, LLC, a subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc., has expanded its offshore wind presence as a result of winning an auction for a competitive lease sale in federal waters administered by the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).
Vineyard Wind of New Bedford, Massachusetts, which is a joint venture between Avangrid Renewables and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), won one of three lease sales and secured development rights to offshore lease OCS-A 0522, a 132,370-acre area.
“Winning this lease from BOEM is an exciting step, as it demonstrates our commitment to this important and growing industry, and enables Vineyard Wind to expand the local and regional partnerships as we move forward developing the first large U.S. wind farm offshore Massachusetts next year,” said Avangrid Renewables CEO and President Laura Beane. “We are grateful to BOEM for thoughtfully working with many stakeholders in identifying this lease area as an appropriate location to generate clean energy.”
Vineyard Wind’s provisional winning bid for its lease area was $135.1 million. While the joint venture between Avangrid Renewables and CIP is currently a 50/50 partnership, Avangrid Renewables is funding 74% of this bid fee. Final execution of the lease is subject to various conditions, including BOEM review, obtaining certain regulatory approvals, and satisfactory negotiation of the lease agreement.
Vineyard Wind’s lease area is anticipated to support approximately 2 GW of commercial wind generation, enough electricity to power roughly one million Massachusetts homes.
Vineyard Wind continues to advance through the permitting process for its initial 800-MW offshore wind project in federal waters 14 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard, with the start of construction expected in 2019 and operations beginning in 2021. Avangrid Renewables also secured an offshore lease OCS-A 0508 in 2017 with BOEM for the 122,000-acre Kitty Hawk wind area that represents 2.4 GW of potential wind capacity, which could begin operations as soon as 2025.