US Developer Plans to Build Offshore Wind Control Centre in New Bedford

Avangrid Renewables plans to build an Offshore Wind Control Center in New Bedford, Massachusetts, as part of the Commonwealth Wind project proposal, the offshore wind project developer Vineyard Wind, a joint venture between Avangrid Renewables and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), informed on 10 November.

The development of the centre is contingent on Commonwealth Wind being selected by the state in the most recent round of solicitation for offshore wind energy, Vineyard Wind said.

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Commonwealth Wind is a newly proposed offshore wind project submitted to Massachusetts’ third competitive offshore wind solicitation, proposed to be developed in an area 22 miles (around 35 kilometres) south of Martha’s Vineyard. The project could have up to 1,200 MW of capacity, which is enough to power 750,000 homes in Massachusetts and create over 11,000 jobs (FTE).

“From the recently announced partnership with Semco Maritime to the establishment of this control center, the City of New Bedford is increasingly becoming a crucial part of this industry’s DNA. If the Commonwealth Wind proposal is selected by the state, this facility will create jobs that will last a generation or more, creating opportunities for people that can help families build a better life”, said Vineyard Wind CEO Lars T. Pedersen.

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The facility, planned to become operational in 2024, is modeled on the work of Avangrid Renewable’s National Control Center for onshore renewable assets, and would be a state-of-the-art facility that will provide remote control for the turbines, electrical service platforms and other offshore/onshore assets throughout the project’s 25-year lifespan, according to the developer.

The centre will also serve as a hub for coordination between operations and maintenance (O&M) vessels and organisations like the United States Coast Guard, in addition to being an interface for working with regional transmission organizations like ISO-NE.