Avangrid Renewables, subsidiary of Spain’s Iberdrola, is likely to start operations of the first major offshore wind energy facility in the U.S., the Vineyard Wind, in 2023; according to a S&P Global report, citing a presentation of the company’s 1Q financial results.
Firstly, the 8-gigawatts project may also receive a final investment decision in the second half of this year; soon after, in 2023, it may begin its first phase of electric generation. As we reported previously the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) granted the project with its final environmental impact statement back in March.
Consequently, financial close for the project may come as soon as the second quarter of this year; then, full commercial operation would happen around 2024, Dennis Arriola, Avangrid Renewables’ CEO, said.
Secondly, the company is also foreseeing substantial growth opportunities in the sector of renewables in the U.S. “Leadership in offshore wind will drive significant growth opportunities supported by favorable federal policies and strong demand for clean energy.” Arriola said during the presentation.
Thirdly, all major construction contracts for Vineyard Wind are already secured; therefore, the utility is just finalizing the evaluation of optimal financing structures including tax equity and project financing, Arriola added.
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Avangrid Renewables to leverage future opportunities in the U.S. renewables sector
On the other hand, regarding future opportunities in the sector, the company executive said that Massachusetts will conduct an offshore wind lease auction this year for 1.6 GW of demand; followed by another auction for 3GW in Rhode Island; while New York and Connecticut will start in 2022.
Moreover, BOEM has plans to conduct a federal waters lease auction in the New York Bight region; between Long Island and the New Jersey coast in late 2021 or early 2022. The company would participate in all of these opportunities for expected growth.
Additionally, Avangrid Renewables has 1.3 GW of projects under construction in 2021 and 2022; these consist of about 390 MW of wind; 915 MW of solar capacity. Approximately 690 MW of the 1.3 GW are currently under construction across the US.
Finally, Arriola concluded. “As we learn more about President Biden’s ambitious clean energy goals; I believe Avangrid is in the sweet spot to help lead the clean and connected energy transition in this country.”