US Clears Avangrid’s New England Offshore Wind Project, First Phase Could Enter Construction Next Year

The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has issued a Record of Decision (ROD) for Avangrid’s New England Wind offshore wind project and is expected to approve its Construction and Operations Plan this Summer, which would clear the two-phased development for construction. The first offshore wind farm could enter the construction stage in 2025.

BOEM completed the environmental review of the New England Wind offshore wind project in February, when the US federal agency said it expected to issue the ROD in April. The Construction and Operations Plan (COP) submitted by Avangrid, which saw minor modifications earlier this year, is planned to receive the final decision in July.

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The New England Wind offshore wind farms are proposed to be built in a lease area off Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New York.

In the plans filed with BOEM, the two phases making up New England Wind are said to have a combined installed capacity of between 2,036 MW and 2,600 MW, and include 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.

Last month, Avangrid submitted both New England Wind projects, New England Wind 1 (formerly known as Park City Wind) and MW New England Wind 2 (Commonwealth Wind), into the multi-state offshore wind solicitation organised jointly by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

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In the multi-state solicitation, the US company, majority-owned by Spanish Iberdrola, proposed the New England 1 offshore wind farm with a generation capacity of 791 MW and New England 2 with a generation capacity of 1,080 MW.

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 and announced plans to re-enter the projects into new state solicitations.

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The projects chosen to enter PPAs under the first US multi-state solicitation will be announced in August 2024. 

Subject to being selected and getting all necessary authorisations, New England 1 could enter construction next year, according to the developer.

“New England Wind 1 is exceptionally advanced for commissioning and offers extraordinary security and viability. In fact, it is the most advanced and ready offshore wind opportunity in the Northeast region,” Iberdrola said in a press release issued after receiving the federal ROD.

“If selected, the project, which would be located about 50 kilometres south of Barnstable, Massachusetts, could begin construction in 2025 and be in commercial operation before the end of the decade, contributing to the New England state’s ambitious 2030 climate goals.”


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