Avangrid puts its foot to the floor on Vineyard Wind
Avangrid Renewables, one of two companies behind Vineyard Wind, the first commercial-scale offshore wind project in the US, is exploring options to complete the project ahead of schedule, but efforts to secure renewable technology resource status in a recent capacity auction were unsuccessful
Announcing details of its Q4 and FY2018 earnings results while providing a 2019 earnings outlook, Avangrid Renewables’ parent company, Avangrid Inc, part of Iberdrola, said it is looking at ways to complete the Vineyard Wind project in 2021, a year earlier than planned.
Avangrid chief executive James Torgerson told investors that the company’s projects in the US remain on track and said the 800-MW Vineyard Wind offshore windfarm it plans to build in a joint venture with Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners is making progress on key approvals and permits.
Mr Torgerson said the company expected to begin construction in late 2019, but explained that it is also assessing whether it might be possible to complete both 400-MW tranches of the 800-MW project by 2021.
The original plan for the project – the first commercial-scale offshore windfarm in the US – was for Vineyard Wind to be built in two stages, with work beginning in 2019 and the first 400-MW stage coming online in 2021, with the second 400-MW stage coming online a year later. Mr Torgerson said the company was still considering whether an accelerated schedule might be possible.
“We expect the state and federal approvals by the end of 2019, the financing in place in the same time frame, engineering will be done in 2019, and we’re going to award the long lead items this year as well. And then the construction will commence in beginning of 2020,” he explained.
“The first 400 megawatts are expected to be operational by the end of 2021 and the next 400 megawatts by 2022. We’re looking to see if we can accelerate that to get everything in 2021, but that’s still a work in progress,” Mr Torgerson said.
The company earlier announced it had signed a preferred supplier agreement with a contractor to build the substations for the project. Mr Torgerson said that negotiations about long-lead items for the project were also at an advanced stage. As highlighted by OWJ, in November 2018, Vineyard Wind selected MHI Vestas as preferred supplier of the turbines for the project, and a facility in Albany in New York will manufacture the foundations. Anbaric Development Partners is the company’s partner for the export cable for Vineyard Wind.