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Iberdrola, through its US subsidiary Avangrid, has obtained full federal approval for the construction and operation of two new offshore wind farms

Avangrid, (NYSE: AGR), a sustainable energy company and member of the Iberdrola, announced that it has received full federal approval of the Construction and Operations Plan (COP) for the New England Wind 1 and 2 offshore projects. The approval of the COP follows the favorable Record of Decision (ROD) issued by the Biden Administration in April 2024. The approval represents a critical milestone, and largely completes the federal, state, and local permitting process for Avangrid’s 791 Megawatt New England Wind 1 project. The approval of the COP by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management comes after years of robust stakeholder engagement with Tribal Nations, members of local residential and fishing communities, and other ocean users. The New England Wind 1 and New England Wind 2 projects have the potential to create thousands of jobs and provide enough clean, reliable energy to power nearly 1 million homes and businesses in the region. As the offshore wind developer in the United States, Avangrid is spearheading the development of the first-in-the-nation Vineyard Wind 1 project, currently under construction and delivering clean, reliable power to 64,000 homes and businesses in Massachusetts.

“Completing the federal permitting program for New England Wind is a remarkable achievement made possible by diligence of our team, the engagement of our stakeholders, and the thorough and rigorous review from our federal partners,” said Avangrid CEO Pedro Azagra. “Building offshore wind infrastructure is a complex and unique endeavor, and rightly held to a high regulatory standard. The approval of our COP reflects the depth of our expertise, our exhaustive and detailed planning, and our ability to deliver these critical projects. By securing all federal, state, regional, and local permits, New England Wind 1 has the potential to put shovels in the ground next year and deliver thousands of jobs, local investment, and needed clean energy before the end of the decade.” 

On March 27, 2024, Avangrid submitted multiple proposals for the New England Wind projects to the Massachusetts-Rhode Island-Connecticut Multi-State Procurement for Offshore Wind. The states are anticipated to announce selected projects from the competitive procurement in August 2024. New England Wind 1 is the only project in the solicitation that has all federal, state, and local permits; the ability to start construction in 2025; and deliver power by 2029. 

The COP approval comes after years of analysis of potential environmental impacts and benefits of Avangrid’s construction, operation, and conceptual decommissioning plans by BOEM. Stakeholder engagement for this critical environmental review included three virtual public meetings hosted by BOEM to solicit additional feedback on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) published in late December 2023 and consideration of over 750 comments received from the public. BOEM’s responded to all comments received in the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), recently published on February 26, 2024. The DEIS, FEIS, and ROD are available on BOEM’s website. Avangrid anticipates receiving a final Letter of Authorization from the National Marine Fisheries Service on or around July 22, 2024.
New England Wind 1 is an exceptionally advanced and shovel-ready project in federal lease area OCS-A 0534, roughly 30 miles south of Barnstable, Massachusetts and making landfall under the Craigville Beach parking lot. The project will border Vineyard Wind 1 to the south.

New England Wind 1 has achieved numerous critical milestones that position the project to start construction next year:

  • Secured full federal approval with the Record of Decision and Construction and Operations Plans
  • Completed the state and local permitting process
  • Completed the interconnection process and signed the Large Generator Interconnection Agreement 
  • Executed a Host Community Agreement with the Town of Barnstable for the cable landing at Craigville Beach
  • Supported the construction and energization of phase one grid upgrades through a Transmission Support Agreement
  • Finalized design and engineering 
  • Signed a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) with the Massachusetts Building Trades Council
  • Secured contracts for major portions of the Supply Chain
  • Executed a lease agreement with Crowley to advance the construction of and utilize the Salem marshaling port 
  • Executed agreements to locate O&M facilities in New Bedford and Bridgeport 
  • Executed a partnership agreement with Liftra to bring the first crane manufacturing facility to New Bedford
  • Proposed $50 million in investments for local workforce and supply chain development, environmental conservation and monitoring, investments benefitting fisheries stakeholders, low-income ratepayers and energy justice communities.
  • Executed a first-of-its-kind agreement with City of Boston to provide 15 MW of offshore wind energy
  • Executed an agreement to provide offshore wind energy to 20 municipal electric companies in Massachusetts
  • Proposed the construction of an offshore wind training hub with Survival Systems USA at the Port of Davisville in North Kingstown, Rhode Island.

The New England Wind lease area is projected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 4 million US tons, or the equivalent of taking approximately 700,000 cars off the road each year during the lifespan of the project. Combined, the projects will create up to 9,200 full-time equivalent jobs and bring $8 billion in direct investment to the region.
On June 26, 2024, Avangrid announced that it has placed 10 turbines into production for the Vineyard Wind 1 project, making Vineyard Wind 1 largest operating offshore wind farm in United States.

Vineyard Wind began offshore construction in late 2022, achieved steel-in-the-water in June 2023, and completed the nation’s first offshore substation in July 2023. Construction flows through the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal. In July 2021, Vineyard Wind signed the first Project Labor Agreement for an offshore wind project in the United States, which outlined the creation of 500 union jobs through the project. In December 2023, project shareholders announced that Vineyard Wind 1 has delivered nearly double of its commitment through the PLA by creating 937 union jobs through two years of construction.

An 806-megawatt project located 15 miles off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard, Vineyard Wind will generate electricity for more than 400,000 homes and businesses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, create 3,600 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) job years, save customers $1.4 billion over the first 20 years of operation, and is expected to reduce carbon emissions by more than 1.6 million metric tons per year, the equivalent of taking 325,000 cars off the road annually.

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