Avangrid’s 2.6 GW Two-Phased Offshore Wind Project Could Get Federal Go-Ahead in April

The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has completed its environmental review of the 2.6 GW New England Wind offshore wind project, proposed to be built in a lease area off Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New York.

BOEM has now published a final environmental impact statement (FEIS) for the project and expects to issue a record of decision (ROD) in April.

New England Wind is a phased project being developed by Park City Wind LLC, a project company owned by Avangrid, the US arm of the Spanish renewable energy developer Iberdrola, within an area adjacent to Vineyard Wind 1, the first large-scale offshore wind farm under construction in the US.

New England Wind project; Image source: BOEM (New England Wind FEIS)

Phase 1 is the Park City Wind offshore wind farm, which will have an installed capacity of at least 804 MW. Phase 2 is Commonwealth Wind, planned to have an installed capacity of up to 1,725 MW, according to the documents at BOEM.

The two-phased project plan submitted for federal approval includes up to 129 wind turbines and up to five offshore export cables that would transmit electricity to onshore transmission systems in the Town of Barnstable and Bristol County, Massachusetts.

Avangrid had already secured power purchase agreements (PPAs) for the two projects with the state electric distribution companies in Massachusetts (for Commonwealth Wind) and Connecticut (for Park City Wind). However, the developer terminated both PPAs last year, with plans to re-enter the projects into new state solicitations.

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On the federal level, the approval process has been underway since 2021. The developer submitted a Construction and Operations Plan (COP) in July 2020 and, following initial review, BOEM started the environmental review in the summer of 2021.

In December 2022, BOEM published a draft EIS, initiating a 60-day public comment period that closed in February 2023, through which the federal agency received input and feedback that informed the now-issued final EIS.

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The two projects making up New England Wind were being developed by Avangrid and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) until 2021, when the two partners restructured their 50/50 joint venture in the United States and Avangrid Renewables took over the lease rights for the two offshore wind projects.


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