Vineyard Wind 1 will be the first utility-scale offshore wind energy project in the United States. It will be located 15 miles off the coast of Massachusetts and will consist of an array of 62 wind turbines, spaced one nautical mile apart. It will generate 800 megawatts of electricity, enough to power over 400,000 homes.
The project has recently closed on $2.3 billion of senior debt financing, which sets the stage for construction to begin. The joint venture between Avangrid Renewables and Copenhagen Infrastructure partners is one of the single largest investments in a renewable energy project in the U.S. The financial close is basically the final milestone for launching the project following years of clearing regulatory and other hurdles.
With the financial closing, Vineyard Wind will be instructing its contractors to begin work. Onshore work will start this fall and offshore work will begin in 2022.
The project will use Haliade-X wind turbine generators made by GE. These are some of the largest and most powerful wind turbines currently available, each one capable of generating 13 megawatts of electricity. The electricity generated by the turbines will be collected by an offshore substation and then transmitted to shore. Two submarine cables will bring the electricity from the substation to a landing point in Barnstable. The cables will be buried six feet below the seafloor. Underground cables will then route the power to an onshore substation in the village of Hyannis where it will be connected to the New England Grid.
Vineyard Wind is the first of many offshore wind farms in the works for the Northeastern United States.
U.S.’s first commercial-scale offshore wind project prepares for construction
Photo, posted March 24, 2016, courtesy of Andy Dingley via Flickr.
Earth Wise is a production of WAMC Northeast Public Radio.
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