MHI Vestas has been named the preferred supplier for what is likely to be the United States first large-scale offshore wind farm, the 800 megawatt (MW) Vineyard Wind offshore wind farm set to be built off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
We have known about Vineyard Wind for almost a year, now, ever since it was reported that Avangrid Renewables was working with Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) on the development of an offshore wind farm for the waters off Massachusetts. This was followed up in May of 2018 when the Massachusetts Electric Distribution Companies officially selected Vineyard Wind — backed by Spanish utility Iberdrola, its subsidiary Avangrid Renewables, and CIP — as the winner of a request for proposals.
Specifically, the 800 MW project will be built in a leased area of 160,000 acres south of Martha’s Vineyard and 14 miles from the nearest shore. In August, Vineyard Wind was awarded a contract with the Massachusetts Electric Distribution Companies well below analyst expectations, starting at $74 per MW-hour (MWh) for the first phase of the project and an even more impressive $65/MWh for the project’s second phase (both of which will be 400 MW).
“Today’s historic filing represents the start of an industry, one that will assure access to abundant clean energy resources for decades to come, and Vineyard Wind is pleased to offer a competitive price to energy consumers in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts while continuing to advance the clear environmental and economic benefits associated with offshore wind,” said Lars Thaaning Pedersen, CEO of Vineyard Wind in August. “By utilizing Federal Investment Tax Credits within the structure of a long-term power purchase agreement, Vineyard Wind was able to offer an attractive price to the benefit of consumers while creating value for its shareholders. This long-term investment and commitment to Massachusetts will stimulate job growth, economic development and acceleration of an emerging offshore wind industry in the United States.”
Fast-forward to Tuesday of this week, and Vineyard Wind announced that it had chosen MHI Vestas Offshore Wind — the joint venture between Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Vestas Wind Systems A/S — to supply wind turbines for the project. Specifically, once the turbine order is confirmed, MHI Vestas would provide 84 of its V164-9.5 MW turbine to the project, which would begin installation in 2021.
“We are pleased to announce the selection of MHI Vestas Offshore Wind as preferred supplier for the United States’ first utility-scale wind farm,” said Lars Pedersen, CEO of Vineyard Wind. “MHI Vestas shares Massachusetts’ strategic commitment to affordable offshore wind power and sustainable energy solutions that will benefit future generations. By driving down the cost of energy through reliable wind turbine technology, MHI Vestas is the perfect partner for our company and the Commonwealth.”
“We feel honoured to have been selected as preferred supplier for the first large-scale offshore wind project in the US,” added MHI Vestas CEO, Philippe Kavafyan. “In bringing the V164-9.5 MW, the world’s most powerful wind turbine, to Massachusetts, Vineyard Wind ensures that the Commonwealth will be home to our most recent technology that is extremely well suited to conditions along the eastern seaboard. We look forward to partnering with Vineyard Wind to help Massachusetts achieve its climate targets and bring clean energy jobs to the region.”
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